Interesting Facts of Giant Pandas
Giant Pandas as the Global Ambassadors of Friendship

With alternating white and black hair and melancholic black circles around the eyes, the Giant Panda is beloved by many all over the world. The Worldwide Fund for Nature used the Giant Panda as their logo when it was established in 1961, making it an important symbol of species conservation and an important representative of China showing friendliness in diplomacy.

Since the establishment of the PRC in 1949, there have been three ways through which the Giant Panda has been able to go abroad: gifts to other countries, commercial lending for exhibitions, or technological exchange. In 1982, China stopped sending Giant Pandas to foreign countries as gifts, and later also stopped commercial lending for exhibitions. Currently, the only way to send a Giant Panda abroad is through technological exchange. In general, their period abroad should not exceed ten years; their babies born abroad still belong to China and should be sent back to their motherland when they reach three years old. Up to March 2010, 33 individual Giant Pandas have been sent abroad to the US, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Austria, Spain, Thailand and Australia (four zoos in the US, one in Thailand, two in Japan, one in Spain, one in Mexico, one in Austria, one in Australia and one in Germany), as part of research projects.

In the United States
The National Zoo in Washington DC created for Giant Pandas an environment similar to their habitat at home. The park renovated the Giant Panda Habitat: fir and cedar trees were planted and an artificial waterfall was added. The lives of the Giant Pandas are broadcast on their website 24 hours.

In Germany and Austria
The four Giant Pandas in Germany and Austria have gained so much popularity that the two zoos regard them as the Jewel of the Park. It’s estimated that more than ten million tourists visit every year.

In Thailand
The Giant Panda in Thailand went there as an ambassador of friendship – all major travel agencies arrange tours to visit the Giant Panda and the travel industry in Chiang Mai has really flourished.

In Mexico
In September 1975, the Chinese government sent a Giant Panda as a national gift to the people of Mexico. Over the years, Mexican scientists have gained considerable experience and technology in breeding the Giant Panda, which can now successfully produce offspring in an overseas captive environment. Mexico’s geological conditions are similar to the home of the Giant Panda – offering highlands, moderate weather, lush plants, and Mexican bamboo that suits the taste of the Giant Panda.

Citizens in Washington DC bid farewell to Giant Panda that has returned home
On 9 July 2005, Giant Panda Mei Lan gave birth to Tai Shan in the Washington DC National Zoo. The agreement between China and the US stated that Tai Shan should be returned to China when he reached the age of two. The request made by US, the Chinese government agreed to extend the stay of Tai Shan in the US for two more years, and a further six-month extension was granted in summer 2009. On 4 February 2010, Tai Shan, then four and a half years old, and Mei Lan were sent back to China on a Federal Express cargo plane.

After the two pandas arrived back in China, Tai Shan was received by the China Wildlife Conservation Association zoo and was settled in the Wolong Giant Panda Protection Center; Mei Lan returned to the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding. The main purpose of the return of Tai Shan and Mei Lan was further breeding. The transport company custom-made two Plexiglas thermostatically-controlled containers for the Giant Pandas within which they could move about. They each contained 40 pounds of bamboo, water and other nutrition products. On the aeroplane they were also accompanied by medical officers and breeding specialists.

Last Update : 03/10/2018
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