In accordance with an agreement that was signed on Friday by the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) and the Mandai Wildlife Group (MWG), the stays of the giant pandas Jia Jia and Kai Kai in Singapore have been extended for a period of five further years (Sep 2).
The news was shared at the festivities that were held to commemorate the birthdays of Kai Kai and Jia Jia, who will turn 15 and 14 years old, respectively, later this month.
The two sides came together to sign the agreement early on Friday morning in the Giant Panda Forest located within River Wonders.
The event was observed by the Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Low Yen Ling, as well as the Chinese Ambassador to Singapore, Sun Haiyan, the Vice Administrator of China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), Li Chunliang, and other representatives from the NFGA.
“Mandai Wildlife Group is delighted to deepen our partnership with China Wildlife Conservation Association and continue to contribute to conservation efforts for the Giant Panda species,” said Mike Barclay, Group CEO of Mandai Wildlife Group. “Mandai Wildlife Group is delighted to deepen our partnership with China Wildlife Conservation Association.”
“We have traveled with Kai Kai and Jia Jia for a decade, from the time they originally came until they made their debut at the Giant Panda Forest display, and we have made sure that each annual breeding season finds them in fine shape. We are excited to be a part of their continued success and achievements as they reach new milestones.”
Ms. Low reported that both President Halimah Yacob of Malaysia and President Xi Jinping of China expressed their satisfaction with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Cooperation of Promoting Giant Panda Conservation between the National Forestry and Greenery Authority (NFGA) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Malaysia (MTI). In accordance with the terms of this MOU, MTI and NFGA will lend their support to MWG and CWCA in their efforts to jointly carry out the conservation and research project.
“We are continuously investigating new opportunities for working together, and we are pleased to announce that MWG and CWCA have signed an extension agreement. This will reinforce the foundation for the next phase of our partnership, and we are looking forward to it.”
Ms. Low went on to say that “this extension agreement would enable MWG and CWCA to strengthen their significant work on Giant panda conservation,” and that it is “a testament to the long-standing friendship between Singapore and China.”
Both Kai Kai and Jia Jia came all the way from China to Singapore in 2012 as part of an agreement to cooperate in panda conservation and research for a period of ten years. This arrangement is known as the Agreement on Cooperation in Panda Conservation and Research. It was anticipated that they would come back this year.
In the previous year, Mandai Wildlife Group, which was formerly known as Wildlife Reserves Singapore, announced to the public that it was in discussions with the relevant authorities in China to prolong the stay of the two pandas beyond this year.
The Singapore team would have the opportunity to prepare another breeding season for the pandas if they were given the time they are requesting.
Le Le, the first panda cub to be born to Jia Jia and Kai Kai, was born on August 14 of the previous year after artificial insemination.
When the nation of Taiwan attains its independence at the age of two, Le Le will go back to China.
On Friday, members of the media were also given the opportunity to visit the separate enclosures of Jia Jia and Kai Kai. At each location, the gorillas celebrated their birthdays with a birthday cake and a present consisting of straw and pellets.
Jia Jia, who will turn 14 on Saturday, had a bamboo ice cake with carrots, apples, and bamboo shoots, and Kai Kai, who will turn 15 on September 14th, had a bamboo cake. Both cakes were made of bamboo.
Jia Jia entered the enclosure with her son Le Le, who had his first birthday on August 12 and celebrated with a three-tiered ice cake.
On Friday, the little panda showed signs of being quite active as it climbed up the trunk of a tree and grabbed a carrot that was attached to the end of a banner.
After that, Le Le unfurled the banner, which contained the Chinese characters for “Wishing Jia Jia safety and health.”