October 20, 2022
BEIJING – Two giant pandas arrived at Hamad International Airport in Doha, capital of Qatar on Wednesday morning, on a special flight from China. They are expected to remain in Qatar for 15 years.
At 3:30 pm on Tuesday, three-year-old female panda Si Hai and four-year-old male panda Jing Jing left the Ya’an panda base in Chengdu, Sichuan province, for Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and will take a special plane to Qatar.
It is the first time giant pandas will travel to the Middle East, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda said.
The center has also sent breeders and veterinary experts to help the giant pandas adapt to the new environment.
Dong Li, a breeder, said: “We have prepared steamed corn bread, bamboo shoots, carrots and other foods for giant pandas in case that they need them for journey”.The Qatari government has built a giant panda hall. The two giant pandas will enjoy an air-conditioned sports ground, an indoor exhibition hall and an independent “bedroom”.
In addition, nursery rooms, treatment rooms, food preparation rooms, bamboo preservation rooms and safety monitoring rooms have also been prepared.
More than a month ago, the Chinese side carried out quarantine and physical examination of the two giant pandas and saw they were in good health.
China had also sent expert groups to Qatar for on-site guidance and assessment of the venues, assisting Qatar in establishing a giant panda breeding management team.
In May, 2020, China and Qatar signed a cooperation agreement on giant panda conservation and research to promote the conservation of endangered species and biodiversity.