Am I glad when I stumbled on a video released just yesterday indicating that the Cabinet has decided that Zoo Negara will be the home for the two pandas. Yay!
Construction of the exhibit enclosure will begin in June and come May 2014 visitors to Zoo Negara will be able to see the zoo's latest addition and attraction -- the adorable pair of giant pandas whose arrival has been highly anticipated by Malaysians.
The pandas will be on loan to Malaysia for ten years to mark the 14th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China in 2014.
Forty acres of land have been set aside to grow bamboo - for the pandas consumption - alongside the project in Putrajaya by the Forest Reserve Institute of Malaysia (FRIM).
I expect there might be a little hike in admission fee to the Zoo Negara come May next year. But then again, it is a small price to pay to be able to see live pandas in our very own backyard instead of having to travel to China or overseas where pandas are available.
If you are wondering about the zoo's admission fees, here's a schedule of Entrance fees for Zoo Negara from the zoo's website. Click on image to enlarge it.
Last updated on June 20, 2014. (Click to enlarge image)
The countries nearest to Malaysia where we can view pandas are Thailand and Singapore. Malaysia will be the third country in the region to receive Giant Pandas from China.
Thailand received a pair of Giant Pandas in 2004, now in the Chiang Mai Zoo. Singapore's pair of giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia, made their first public appearance at their new home at the Giant Panda Forest in Singapore's River Safari Zoo in November last year. The zoo will be their new home for the next 10 years. In 1991, the Singapore Zoo received two pandas, called An An and Xin Xing on loan from China for 100 days.
It is left to be seen as to whether Zoo Negara will be drawing up a viewing guideline similar to what Singapore Zoo has drawn up.
At the Singapore Zoo/Giant Panda Forest:
- Each ticket holder is able to stay 15 minutes in the enclosure.
- 150 people can go into the enclosure per viewing session.
- Each adult pays an extra S$5; a child pays an additional S$3 to visit the pandas.
The Giant Panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world's most threatened animals. Let's take a look at the countries that have received Giant Pandas from China..
Here's a map to the National Zoo (Zoo Negara) in Kuala Lumpur..
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