San Diego (CA), .- The two pandas that live in the San Diego Zoo, in southern California, will be sent to China next month, after completing an agreement with that country, the center authorities informed Monday. .
Pandas Bai Yun, 27, and his six-year-old son Xiao Liwu will be sent to their “ancestral homeland” in view of the culmination of a conservation and research agreement signed between the zoo and the Government of China, and that He kept the animals in this center since 1996.
It is unknown if other pandas will come to take their place and the park authorities limited themselves to saying in a statement that they will work with their Chinese colleagues to “redefine the future” of the program.
“The panda show we started together demonstrates just how powerful these collaborative efforts can be,” said Douglas Myers, president of San Diego Zoo Global, the organization that operates the zoo here.
“We are extremely grateful to China for sharing the pandas with us and for offering us the opportunity to serve this species in a leadership role,” he added.
This collaboration began more than two decades ago as an international effort to prevent the extinction of this species.
At the end of the seventies, it was estimated that there were not more than a thousand of these animals on the planet, but in 2014 the figure managed to increase to 1,864 pandas, according to data from the World Wildlife Fund.
“We have met the initial conservation goals we established more than 25 years ago,” said Carmi Penny, director of the San Diego Zoo Breeding Science Collections, adding that new goals should now be set based on the knowledge gained.
This program allowed scientists to learn more about the behavior, care, pregnancy and birth of this species, zoo authorities said.
Since its arrival, the display of the giant pandas became one of the emblems of both the zoo and the city itself.
Shawn Dixon, chief of operations at San Diego Zoo Global, said that while they lament the departure of the pandas, they have “great hopes for the future,” in coordination with their colleagues in China.
The visitors of the park will be able to see the pandas until next April 27, and a series of activities are already planned the days before to dismiss them.EFEUSA)