Two Malaysia-born giant panda cubs to return to China in May
Two Malaysia-born giant panda cubs, named Sheng Yi and Yi Yi, will return to China in May, according to Zoo Negara, which made the announcement on its social media on Friday.
Sheng Yi and Yi Yi were born in 2021 and 2018, respectively. Their parents, Xing Xing and Liang Liang, went to Malaysia on loan in 2014, to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
As the third cub to the couple, Sheng Yi was born on May 31, 2021, in conjunction with the 47th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, China has sent about 23 giant pandas to nine countries as a token of friendship and goodwill, according to media reports. The Chinese government put an end to the giveaway policy in 1982 due to the scarcity of the species and the need for better protection of the animal.
Giant pandas Er Shun and Da Mao started their journey to Canada in March 2013, but due to a fresh bamboo shortage, they came back to China two years ahead of schedule.
Yong Ming was born in the Beijing Zoo in 1992. He is the father of 16 giant panda cubs born at Japan's Wakayama park, setting the world record for being the oldest giant panda to have successfully bred in captivity.
The 30-year-old male panda left Wakayama park to fly back to China on Feb 22.
The pandas are offered on loan usually on cooperative research terms to some countries and regions, during which any resulting offspring from breeding efforts still belong to China and are sent back, usually by 4 years of age, for mating.
Most zoos sign a 10-year contract and would send a couple at a time out of consideration for reproduction.