Thu, Apr 16, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Taipei Zoo prepares for one-millionth visitor to Panda Hall

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lee Teng-cheng holds a four-month-old Formosan black bear cub as he prepares to hand it over to Taipei Zoo director Jason Yeh in Pingtung yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

Taipei Zoo is expected to welcome the one-millionth visitor to its Panda Hall this weekend with the number of visitors to the hall reaching a new high.

The Panda Hall has become the biggest attraction at the zoo since the two giant pandas, Tuan Tuan (團團) and Yuan Yuan (圓圓), made their first appearance in January.

Taipei Zoo director Jason Yeh (葉傑生) said the number of visitors to the hall is expected to reach 1 million this weekend, and the zoo will present special gifts to the one millionth visitor.

Yeh said that the gifts included environment-friendly products with panda logos on them, such as chopsticks and mugs, to promote the importance of environmental protection and conservation to the visitor and the public.

The zoo will also organize activities to celebrate the record number of visitors to the hall on the day the one-millionth visitor shows up, he added.

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan arrived at the zoo in December and made their first appearance on Jan. 26 after a one-month quarantine.

Yeh said the number of visitors to the hall reached 500,000 on Feb. 28, with the number continuing to grow fast.

In related news, the zoo yesterday celebrated the arrival of a four-month old Formosan black bear after the zoo successfully bred the animal under a conservation program in cooperation with the Pingtung County Government.

Yeh visited Pingtung yesterday to pick up the bear and bring it to the zoo. Local resident Lee Teng-cheng (李藤正), who has raised a pair of Formosan black bears for 20 years, cooperated with the zoo in the conservation program and helped breed the cub.

The zoo currently has 10 Formosan black bears and plans to continue its efforts to breed more bears.

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