October 31, 2022
BEIJING – The Chinese mainland will send two experts to Taiwan to help a local zoo take care of a giant panda that has medical conditions, according to a spokesman for the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office.
Ma Xiaoguang said on Friday in Beijing that since September, when information about the health condition of the panda — Tuan Tuan — was communicated to the Chinese mainland, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan province has established an expert team and been in close contact with Taipei Zoo to follow the medical treatment for the bear and provide technical assistance.
The center received a request for assistance from the zoo on Thursday afternoon and soon decided to send two specialists on giant panda health to the zoo, Ma said.
“Currently, the center is working with Chinese mainland authorities in arranging the experts’ trip.
“We hope that with the attention and support from people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, Tuan Tuan can get better treatment and care to overcome his illness,” he said.
According to Taiwan media, authorities on the island said on Thursday that they had received a letter from Taipei Zoo that requested assistance for Chinese mainland experts’ arrival and that they will work to enable the experts to head to the zoo as soon as possible.
Tuan Tuan, an 18-year-old male giant panda, is one of the two panda bears that were gifted by the Chinese mainland to Taiwan in 2008. Tuan Tuan is suspected to have suffered from seizures recently, arousing concerns on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.
Tuan Tuan and his mate, Yuan Yuan, have been popular among Taiwan people, especially children, since the bears arrived at the zoo, according to Taiwan local media.
They have had two cubs, one in 2013 and another in 2020.
Tuan Tuan has developed symptoms including fatigue and a poor appetite for a while and recent medical examinations pointed to the high possibility of a brain tumor, according to earlier reports.
Many Taiwan people have left their good wishes on the zoo’s social media accounts, expressing hopes for the animal’s early recovery.