Im-Panda-ing Arrival of Honoured Guests

Giant Pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia, symbols of CapitaLand’s conservation pledge and long-term commitment to China, arrive in March 2012

Issue: Feb 2012

Symbols of strong Sino-Singapore relations, Giant Pandas Jia Jia (left) and Kai Kai (right) are arriving in Singapore in March 2012
As part of the China-Singapore Giant Pandas Collaborative Programme, Jia Jia and Kai Kai are arriving in Singapore in March 2012

Come March this year, Singapore will be welcoming two long-staying Chinese guests – Giant Pandas
Jia Jia (嘉嘉) and Kai Kai (凯凯). The pair, who is on loan to Singapore to mark 20 years of diplomatic relations between the Singapore and China, will be spending a decade in their new home here. Singapore is the seventh country to receive Giant Pandas from China since 1994. But apart from sealing the long-term relationship between the two countries, the furry friends from afar are part of a joint collaboration to promote giant panda conservation, raise public awareness of conservation and implement a giant panda breeding research programme.

As a committed green real estate developer, CapitaLand has always cared for the environment and been a leader in green buildings and environmental awareness. Now, this 10-year giant panda collaborative programme not only supports cultural exchange and understanding between Singapore and China, it also promotes wildlife conservation education among the young.

Before the arrival of cuddly duo in Singapore, CapitaLand was already working to create understanding for the panda cause. In July 2011, a one-day Panda Summer Camp was organised for 30 children in Chengdu aged between five and nine and their parents to visit Bifengxia Base of China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan. The children were selected through a quiz about pandas. Apart from getting up close and personal with Jia Jia (嘉嘉) and Kai Kai (凯凯), the children were taught about the conservation efforts, learnt a panda dance and were introduced to the pair of pandas’ new home in Singapore, the River Safari.

Yangtze River @ River Safari will be Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s new home in Singapore
Yangtze River @ River Safari will be Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s new home in Singapore

Welcoming Honoured Guests

Back in Singapore, a specially designed home has been under construction to welcome the Giant Pandas when they come. The River Safari at the Singapore Zoo is Asia’s first river-themed park and the fourth and latest nature attraction presented by Wildlife Reserves Singapore after the Singapore Zoo, the Night Safari and the Jurong Bird Park. And great pains have been taken to ensure that the River Safari recreates the pandas’ home in Yunnan, China. Towering “cliffs” reminiscent of the Three Gorges along a famous stretch of the Yangtze River, attempt to recreate the surreal beauty of the Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the pandas come from. In addition, the Singapore Zoo has planted six different bamboo species to entice picky panda palates. In the climate-controlled enclosure, four-year-old Kai Kai (凯凯), the male, and his three-year-old female companion, Jia Jia (嘉嘉), will be able to enjoy temperatures similar to their high-altitude natural habitat as visitors get a close-up view of them.

The quality reception the darling duo from China are being shown is evident of the care extended by CapitaLand in the giant panda conservation and breeding programme, a strong commitment that will continue for the next 10 years.

Read about the buzz surrounding the farewell and arrival of Jia Jia (嘉嘉) and Kai Kai (凯凯) in Chengdu and Singapore in the upcoming issues of INSIDE Different Geographies. Till then, please enjoy a video of Jia Jia (嘉嘉) and Kai Kai (凯凯) below.

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