Soraya and Suhail, two giant pandas have left today their home in Southwest China, Protect ‘Daxiongmao Research Center Ya’an Bifeng Valley’ Base , Sichuan Province, flown from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport for AlKhor city in Qatar.
City of AlKhor, Qatar, is also the city to host official opening of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 with the first match between host country Qatar football team and Ecuador team on 20th November 2022.
Both the giant pandas will be arriving in Doha on Wednesday morning.
In May 2020, China and Qatar signed a cooperation agreement on giant panda protection and research to further promote international cooperation in the field and to boost the protection of endangered species and biodiversity in the two countries. It marks the first time China has cooperated with a Middle Eastern country in this capacity.
Three year old ‘ Thuraya’ (Chinese name ‘Si Hai’), is a female giant panda who was born in the Shenshuping base in Wolong National Nature Reserve on July 26, 2019.
Four year old Suhail, (Chinese name ‘Jingjing’), is male giant panda, was born in the Shenshuping Base on September 19, 2018. They have been living at the Ya’an Base since then.
A farewell ceremony was held today on Tuesday at the Bifengxia Base of China Conservation and Research Centre (CCRCGP). Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Duhaimi, Qatar’s ambassador to China thanked all those who contributed to achieving this milestone in the popular and cultural diplomacy to push the relations between the two friendly countries to higher levels and broader horizons.
He invited the officials and organizers of the ceremony from Chinese side to attend the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Qatar’s envoy said that the gift “symbolises the depth of relations between the two countries,” reported by Qatar News Agency. ‘Hope they will bring happiness and love to our friends in Qatar and the region’, he said.
It is the first time pandas have been gifted to a Middle East nation. However, China has given pandas as gifts to other nations during last hundreds of years. One of the first recorded pandas was sent during the seventh century’s Tang Dynasty. A pair of bears, thought to be pandas, were sent to Japan by Empress Wu Zeitan. China sent two pandas to New York’s Bronx Zoo in 1941.
The panda enclosure at Al Khor was inspired by the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China, home to more than 150 giant pandas, designers Dar say. “The roof of the enclosure has a mountain-like shape that provides ample natural light through its integrated skylights and that gives the enclosure a natural flow that mimics the native habitat of the pandas,” in an earlier statement he has said.
Zhou Jian earlier talking to the Editor, www.asiantelegraphqatar.com told that a specially designed large park is developed with controlled temperature suitable to the beautiful animal in AlKhor City of Qatar. The premises has several zones including a research and breeding center for the preservation of the
The panda, with its distinctive black and white coat, is adored by the world and considered a national treasure in China. This bear also has a special significance for WWF, a logo since WWF founding in 1961.
Pandas live mainly in temperate forests high in the mountains of southwest China, where they subsist almost entirely on bamboo. They must eat around 26 to 84 pounds of it every day, depending on what part of the bamboo they are eating. They use their enlarged wrist bones that function as opposable thumbs.
A newborn panda is about the size of a stick of butter—about 1/900th the size of its mother—but females can grow up to about 200 pounds, while males can grow up to about 300 pounds as adults. These bears are excellent tree climbers despite their bulk.
The biological diversity of the panda’s habitat is unparalleled in the temperate world and rivals that of tropical ecosystems, making the giant panda an excellent example of an umbrella species conferring protection on many other species where pandas live. In other words, when we protect pandas, we invariably protect other animals that live around them, such as multicolored pheasants, the golden monkey, takin, and crested ibis. Pandas also bring sustainable economic benefits to many local communities through ecotourism.
To ensure that the two pandas start their new lives smoothly, both sides have made full preparations. The two pandas have been in good condition since the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda put them into quarantine a month ago.
The Chinese team has also sent several expert delegations to Qatar for on-site guidance and assessment of the venues, as well as assisting the country in setting up a professional giant panda breeding and management team, and ensuring supplies of bamboo.
To help the giant pandas adapt to their new environment quickly, the research center has also sent experienced breeders and veterinary experts to Qatar.
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