If you haven’t seen Nuan Nuan in person at the Zoo Negara, you might want to do it soon.
Due to the high cost of maintenance, Zoo Negara is not planning to extend the giant baby panda’s stay in the country beyond the 2-year agreement with China.
“According to the agreement between Malaysia and China, we need to pay a one-off cost of rental amounting to US$600,000 (RM2.4 million) for the baby panda which does not include its annual insurance premium at RM200,000,” said the Malaysian Zoological Society president Datuk Seri Zaharin Md Arif.
However, there’s a slight chance that Nuan Nuan may be able to remain in Malaysia. “We will discuss with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the China Wildlife Conservation Association on extending the keeping of the baby panda in November,” Zaharin explained.
Zoo Negara Zoology and Veterinary director Dr Mat Naim Ramli also added that aside from insurance premium, cost of maintenance and separation space will also be factored in into their decision-making.
“This is because the mother and baby pandas are allowed to live together when the baby is below 2 years and after that the baby is separated from the mother to live independently. The contract can only be extended by 2 more years,” he was quoted as saying.
Yesterday (23rd August), 2 special cakes were prepared for Nuan Nuan’s parents, Xing Xing and Liang Liang, at the Giant Panda Conservation Complex display area in celebration of the panda couple’s 10th birthday. “So far they have retained their body weight, with Xing Xing at 130 kg, Liang Liang at 109 kg and Nuan Nuan weighing 31 kg,” Dr Mat Naim added.
The baby female giant panda was born on 18th August 2015. She was first exhibited at the national Zoo on 17th November after 3 months of quarantine. Her birth last year marked a successful milestone in Malaysia’s new panda breeding programme.
Source: MalaysiaKini via Bernama.