Two giant pandas are on their way to Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen – a little more slowly than expected, reports the Telegraaf.
Xing Yu and We Wen will stay at the zoo for up to 15 years thanks to an agreement with the Chinese Wildlife Association signed last year.
But although the pandas – no longer at risk of extinction but still very vulnerable – were expected this autumn, their trip has been postponed six months while the zoo meets rigorous requirements.
Marcel Boekhoorn, owner of the zoo, told the Telegraaf: ‘We hoped to be ready within a year, but although everything is going well, it will take more time.’
With the help of Chinese builders, the zoo is constructing an indoor and outdoor environment for the animals, which will then be inspected by Chinese panda experts. If their accommodation meets their demands, the pandas will be brought to the Netherlands by a special air transport.
Giant pandas are held at 18 zoos, reports the Telegraaf, and only found in the wild in China. Female pandas are only fertile for three days a year but if any young are born during the stay in the Netherlands, they must return to the Gengda Wolong Panda Center in China after four years.
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