Sat, Dec 21, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Zoo steps up efforts in preparation for panda cub’s debut

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Panda cub Yuan Zai, right, and its mother Yuan Yuan look into the camera at Taipei Zoo on Saturday last week.

Photo: CNA

Taipei Zoo is stepping up its efforts to renovate its Panda Hall in preparation for the first public appearance of panda cub Yuan Zai (圓仔) on Jan. 6, expecting the animal to boost visitor numbers to the zoo.

The first cub of giant panda couple Tuan Tuan (團團) and Yuan Yuan (圓圓) is 168 days old and weighs 12.5kg.

She has yet to appear in public, but has become the zoo’s most viewed animal with a real-time online streaming service launched in October to record Yuan Zai’s daily life being a popular Web activity for the public.

Taipei Zoo spokesman Chang Chi-hua (張志華) said the zoo will decorate the Panda Hall with cradles, floating balls and carousels to keep Yuan Zai entertained in the display area.

Zookeepers will also help the cub adjust to the new environment when she makes her debut next month, he said.

Taipei City Government spokesman Chang Chi-chiang (張其強) yesterday said Taiwanese singer Jody Chiang (江惠) has rewritten one of the songs in her latest album and dedicated it to the young panda. The song, called Yuan Zai, is intended as a gift for the cub to mark her first meeting with the public.

Chiang, a well-known pop singer, rewrote the lyrics of her Taiwanese song Yin Zai (囝仔, child).

She dedicated the song to Yuan Zai because she is fond of the cub, and expects it and the song to bring warmth to the public, the spokesman said.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) is scheduled to present the song to the zoo as a gift to Yuan Zai, and the public will be able to hear the song next month, he said.

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