A zoo employee carries a three-month old female giant panda cub, born to mother Liang Liang and father Xing Xing, on display to the public for the first time at Zoo Negara in Kuala Lumpur in this file picture taken on November 17, 2015. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — The third panda cub of the giant panda pair, Xing Xing and Liang Liang, which was born on May 31 last year, has yet to be named, National Zoo Deputy President Rosly@Rahmat Amat Lana said.
He said the authority to name the male panda cub was subject to the government as the zoo did not have the right to do so.
“We are waiting for the government’s decision to name the third panda cub,” he told reporters after a breaking of fast event with the media at the National Zoo tonight.
He said the third panda cub that was first displayed at the Giant Panda Conservation Centre on Oct 1 last year with his mother, Liang Liang, is now healthy and still being breastfed.
“It is now almost a year old and weighs up to 80 kilogrammes. It is very close to its mother and we exhibit them in turns with the second panda cub, Yi Yi,” he said.
On the repatriation process of the second giant panda cub, Yi Yi, who is now four years old, Rosly said his team was still waiting for the green light from the government on the decision.
“We have been ready in advance regarding Yi Yi’s repatriation to China according to the agreement (between Malaysia and China), we are now only still waiting for the government’s decision. However, we are still exhibiting Yi Yi here in rotation between her mother, Liang Liang and her brother because her mother no longer wanted to be with her for the past two years.
“We had to isolate Yi Yi from her mother after weaning because we were worried that her mother would hurt her,” he said.
Yi Yi, born on Jan 14, 2018 was supposed to be brought back to China in April 2020 but had to be postponed because China had closed its conservation centre at that time due to the pandemic.
Former Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah was quoted in a report on Dec 2, 2020 as saying that every giant panda cub should be sent back to China when they reach the age of 24 months and not over four years old.
The first panda cub, Nuan Nuan was sent back to China in 2017.
The Giant Panda Conservation International Cooperation Agreement between the Malaysian and Chinese governments under the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) was signed for a period of 10 years starting in 2014, the year the giant panda pair Xing Xing and Liang Liang arrived in Malaysia.
China’s agreement to lend a pair of giant pandas to Malaysia was a sign of the special relationship both countries developed since diplomatic relations were established in 1974. — Bernama