Fri, Jan 03, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Zoo visitors to be given numbers to view panda

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Panda cub Yuan Zai reclines on logs yesterday in her enclosure at the Taipei Zoo in a photograph distributed by the zoo.

Photo: CNA

Visitors to the Taipei Zoo who want to see the panda cub Yuan Zai (圓仔) from Monday, when she is scheduled to make her first public appearance, should pick up numbered slips at the zoo entrance and follow the designated route to the Panda Hall, the Taipei City Government said yesterday as it unveiled details for Yuan Zai’s debut.

Taipei Zoo director Jason Chin (金仕謙) said numbered slips will be available at all eight entrance counters. Each slip will have a time printed on the back.

Visitors should arrive at the Panda Hall 10 minutes before the designated time on their slips to ensure they are allowed into the premises at that time. Time spent inside the hall will be limited to 10 minutes per group.

Chin said the groups could have up to 400 people and a maximum of 20,000 visitors would be allowed entry to the Panda House per day.

Zoo officials said they expected each day’s allocation of numbered slips to be given out by 12:30pm.

The six-month old cub will be in the same enclosure as her mother, Yuan Yuan (圓圓), while her father, Tuan Tuan (團團), will be in a separate enclosure due to the territorial nature of pandas.

Schools or other groups with more than 30 members can book group visits three days in advance, Chin said.

Although Yuan Zai has not been on display, she has not only become the most popular animal in the zoo, but its most-viewed animal after a realtime online streaming service was launched in October last year to record her daily life.

The service has been greeted enthusiastically by the public, Chin said.

The city government has also stepped up its efforts to promote the cub, using trademarked Yuan Zai logos in almost all its activities. The city’s Department of Economic Development is to release at least 30 authorized Yuan Zai products today.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday lauded Yuan Zai for bringing a sense of happiness to the public. He said the zoo has invited panda experts to evaluate the cub’s health and development before her first public appearance.

“Panda experts said she has become used to the environment in the exhibition area. We request visitors to refrain from using a flash when taking photographs or tapping the glass [separating the pandas from the public], which will scare the pandas,” he said.

The zoo is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Sunday. During the Lunar New Year holidays it will be open from 8:40am to 5:10pm.

A free bus service between Taipei City Hall and the zoo will run daily between 7:30am and 6pm, the Department of Transportation said.

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