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Some original material reprinted by Pandas International's Newsletter is used without editing for accepted English usage.
Thank you to everyone who came to our dinner.
We hope you all had a wonderful time!

Pandas International has teamed up with New Wave Enviro!

New Wave Enviro Products Inc. is introducing a new line of 600ml Stainless Steel bottles that are less expensive than many plastic bottles on the market and half the price of some aluminum bottles. They have partnered with us and will donate a percentage of sales from the Nature Bottle. You can check them out at www.newwaveenviro.com and order them online at www.pandasinternation.org. Thanks, New Wave!

Note from the Director
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Brad Brieman of Chicago, Illinois to Pandas International’s Board of Directors.  Brad has been a financial supporter of Pandas International for many years and volunteered at Bifengxia Panda Center in 2010. Brad flew out to volunteer and attend our recent annual dinner. He works in the Information Technology industry and is now in charge of sorting out the technical problems with Tai Shan’s web cam purchased with funds generously provided by Mara Strock. He was able to capture the two photos of Tai Shan seen here from the web cam but many technical problems remain.

We are working with a service provider to identify the necessary technical requirements and putting together a proposal for implementing them. Given the geographic location, time differences and other challenges, this solution will take additional time for the project to be completed.

Suzanne Braden
Director
China Tours
Two trips have been arranged to China for September of this year. Access China Tours (ACT) and Kim’s World Travel have both set up tours to China and a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Giant Pandas at the Bifengxia Reserve. Click on the link to access both trips.
Giant Pandas around the World
Ueno Zoo Reopening
Two Giant Pandas which arrived in Japan on February 21 were to go on display this month. Unfortunately, due to a devastating earthquake in Japan on March 11, the public display had been postponed. The Ueno Zoo had closed due to aftershocks, a radiation scare and to help conserve electricity. However, the zoo is to be reopened this Friday, April 1 and the two Giant Pandas will be on display. The zoo will also be waving admission fees for the victims of the natural disasters until April 10.

The pair of Giant Pandas had just been named on March 9. The male who was named Bi Li in China was being renamed Ri Ri which in Kanji stands for power. The female, Xian Nu, has been renamed Shin Shin which means truth or genuine. Both Giant Pandas had no injuries due to the quake. Xian Nu was also a survivor of the shattering earthquake in China in May of 2008.
Giant Pandas Prepare for Transition
March 23, 2011

Alison Maclean
The Edinburgh Zoo sent a team to China for three days in order to meet the two Giant Pandas destined for the Edinburgh Zoo sometime next year. Tian Tian and Yang Guang are to be sent to the UK and will be the first Giant Pandas to be housed there in 17 years. Alison Maclean, team leader of the carnivore section at the Edinburgh Zoo, said, "It is a truly amazing experience to come face to face with these incredible animals and meeting Tian Tian and Yang Guang for the first time is a moment I will remember forever."
Singapore's Giant Pandas Named Kai Kai and Jia Jia
Thursday, March 17, 2011

Singapore’s new pandas have been named after a 6 month long contest. Kai Kai and Jia The newly named Giant Pandas will arrive in Singapore in early 2012. Kai Kai means victorious and Jia Jia means beautiful and fine. “On another level, the Chinese character Jia was used in the old Chinese reference for Singapore and the phonetic pronunciation of Jia is equivalent to the Mandarin pronunciation of the Chinese character, which is not only an integral part of Singapore’s current Chinese name, but also means “to add” – representing the wish to expand the giant panda family in Singapore through a successful breeding programme at WRS.”

Panda Keeper Gives Thumbs Up For Adelaide Breeding

Austrian curator Eveline Dungl is visiting the two Giant Pandas in Adelaide, Australia. Dungl thinks there is a very good chance that Wang Wang and Funi will be able to conceive a baby Giant Panda of their own in the near future. Funi will reach maturity in about 6 months and Dungl thinks that she will make a great mother someday. Two baby Giant Pandas have recently been born in Austria’s Vienna Zoo and the keepers of Wang Wang and Funi recently made a trip to Vienna to educate themselves on the breeding process of Giant Pandas.


Earth Hour
Earth Hour 2011 in Chengdu
March 12, 2011
Chengdu, Sichuan was the first city in China to commit to Earth Hour in 2010. Chengdu will again be participating in Earth Hour on Saturday, March 26. Last year Mei Lan, a Giant Panda at the Chengdu Panda Base, helped to switch off her lights in her enclosure. This year a panda will help to switch off a heat lamp which will be melting a panda sculpture to share “Chengdu’s Earth Hour message with the world: Protect my black and white colors; Preserve our colorful world.”
America's Pandas
Giant Panda Cub Appearing in Public
March 14, 2011

Po and his mom

Po was born on November 3 last year to Zoo Atlanta and is starting to make public appearances. Po has been in seclusion with his mother Lun Lun until the last few weeks. He and his mother can now be seen in the indoor enclosure from 9:30-10:30 am. Po was recently named after the character in the film “Kung Fu Panda.”


San Diego Giant Pandas Update

Mei Sheng
by Carrie Phillips

On August 21, 1999, Bai Yun (the father was Shi Shi) gave birth to a female cub at the San Diego Zoo. Named Hua Mei, she quickly captured many hearts. Her name means “China-America” and stands for the friendship between China and the United States. On March 13, 2004, Hua Mei left the San Diego Zoo to live at the Wolong Panda Reserve. She was then transferred to the Ya’an Bifengxia Panda Reserve after the devastating earthquake in May, 2008.

American-born Hua Mei is the mother of eight cubs, three sets of twins and two single cubs. Of special significance, Hua Mei is mother to Tuan Tuan, who, along with Yuan Yuan, was given to Taiwan as a gift from Beijing. The combination of their names, Tuan Yuan, means “reunion” in Chinese. They arrived in Taiwan on December 23, 2008, and were transported to the Taipei Zoo. Their public appearances began during the 2009 Chinese New Year.


Tai Shan

Hua Mei’s Cubs:
Hua Mei gave birth to her first set of twins on September 1, 2004. The first cub, a male named Hua Ling, was later re-named Tuan Tuan when selected to go to the Taipei Zoo. The second cub, also a male, is named Mei Ling and lives at the Tianjin Zoo.

On August 29, 2005, Hua Mei gave birth to twins:  Ting Ting, a female, and Wei Wei, a male. Ting Ting lives at the Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park. Wei Wei lives at the Wuhan Zoo.

On July 16, 2007, Hua Mei gave birth to male twins Hua Long and Hua Ao. Hua Long lives at the Wannan National Center, "Eco Eden," and Hua Ao lives at the Beijing Zoo. 


Su Lin

On July 7, 2009, Hua Mei gave birth to Hao Hao, a female. She is living at the Bifengxia Panda Reserve.

On September 17, 2010, Hua Mei gave birth to a male cub. He lives at the Bifengxia Panda Reserve. We are patiently waiting for the 2010 cubs to be given their official Chinese names. If you have the opportunity, make sure to visit the very “prolific” Hua Mei at the Bifengxia Panda Reserve.

Hua Mei is not the only panda born at the San Diego Zoo to depart to China. Hua Mei’s brother, Mei Sheng, left the San Diego Zoo in November 2007 to live at the Wolong Nature Reserve. Hua Mei’s sisters, Su Lin and Zhen Zhen, left the San Diego Zoo in September 2010 to live at the Bifengxia Panda Reserve.


Zhen Zhen

Mei Sheng, born August 19, 2003, now lives at the Oversea-Born Panda Paradise at the Bifengxia Panda Reserve. Upon ending their quarantine on November 19, 2010, Su Lin, born August 2, 2005, and Zhen Zhen, born August 3, 2007, also moved to the Oversea-Born Panda Paradise.

Bai Yun, father Gao Gao, and their one year old cub Yun Zi remain at the San Diego Zoo.


Su Lin and Wu Gang
Su Lin Mated with Wu Gang
March 15, 2011
Su Lin who was moved to the Ya’an Bifengxia Panda Reserve in China has found a mate. Su Lin and Wu Gang mated naturally on March 15 and are said to now be “married."
Other Panda News

Panda Food Shortages Feared After Heavy Snowfall in Southwest China

March 22, 2011

Southwest China’s Sichuan province has been experiencing the heaviest snow in 20 years which may have caused food shortages for the wild Giant Pandas currently living in the mountains. A rare blizzard hit the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Wolong dropping 22 cm of snow. Only six Giant Pandas were at the Center receiving training on how to live in the wild. All of the Giant Pandas were doing fine after the blizzard. The rest of the Center’s Giant Pandas were moved to the Bifengxia Panda Base after the earthquake in 2008. Officials say that the blizzard destroyed 80 hectares of bamboo which could have an effect on the food supply for wild Giant Panda’s living in the area.

Giant Pandas Survival Plan Has Been Reached

By Suzanne Braden

All endangered species have a Species Survival Plan (SSP).  Scientists who study the Giant Panda and then formulate its SSP determined the optimal number of captive pandas necessary to maintain the species was 300.  That number was successfully reached in 2009.  By achieving that milestone, new and improved captive breeding strategies are more feasible to implement. Some cubs will now begin to stay with their mothers for up to 18 months, a time frame that more closely approximates the natural rhythms of life in the wild.

Women Follow Tai Shan to China

March 2, 2011
Karen Wille and Christine Harper have been big fans of Tai Shan since he was born at the National Zoo in 2005. When the women found out Tai Shan was going back to his parents’ homeland, they decided to make a trip to see him. Both Wille and Harper traveled to China last September to see how Tai Shan was doing. They were able to volunteer at the Ya'an Bifeng Gorge Breeding Area where they actually got to clean Tai Shan’s enclosure and feed him bamboo and treats. Willie and Harper enjoyed their visit so much that they have plans to go back again next year.

Three Centers Attend to Injured Wild Pandas

Controlled opportunities for breeding, and, for the care of wild pandas who have been injured or abandoned, are provided by a trio of institutions.

The Chinese Conservation and Research Center on the Giant Panda (CCRCGP), located in Ya’an Bifengxia, has been caring for wounded or sick wild pandas since the earthquake of 2008 forced the closure of the Center at Wolong. This institution attends to wild pandas from the provinces of Sichuan and Gansu, two of the three provinces where wild pandas still live.

The Shaanxi Province Wild Animal Rescue and Breeding Center (SWARC), cares for rescued wild pandas found in Shaanxi Province, the last of the three provinces where the wild Giant Panda makes its home.

On some occasions, rescued pandas are sent to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (CRBGPB). However, this Center’s primary role is in the breeding of pandas in captivity.

JoGayle Howard, Brilliant Scientist and Pioneer, Dies

March 8, 2011

Dr. JoGayle Howard passed away on March 5 at the age of 59 from malignant melanoma. Howard is known for her research on captive Giant Pandas and for helping to understand why the reproductive rate of Giant Pandas in captivity is so low. Because of this, she was able to artificially inseminate the National Zoo’s female panda, Mei Xiang, and produced the first surviving cub, Tai Shan, in 2005.

Panda Helpers

Kindergartner Helps the Pandas

Annie, a kindergartener in Upper Arlington, Ohio, is a panda lover.  This February she read Panda Kindergarten out loud to her class and explained why pandas are endangered.  “The pandas are sad,” she explained, “because people destroy their bamboo, and an earthquake damaged their home.”  She wrote a letter to send home asking her classmates to bring in spare change to donate to the pandas.  The next day her class showed enormous generosity bringing in a weighty amount of change and Annie treated them to panda cupcakes she had made herself.  Altogether the class collected $140.00!
Pictures and Videos
Adorable, Cuddly Po!
Pictures courtesy of Christie Harper

Frolicking Panda Cubs Delight Chinese >>
Pandas on a Slide >>
Check out Po as he makes his debut in Atlanta >>

Happy Easter from the Pandas

What’s in your Easter Basket?
It may be the year of the Rabbit
But this Easter Basket is filled with Pandas!

Basket includes:
Easter Basket with “grass”
(both assorted colors)

8” Plush Panda

3 “eggs” with surprise in each
(mini panda*, panda wrist band & panda stickers)

panda postcard & panda book mark

plus a cute Easter Card
(can be personalized-be sure to include name at checkout)

Note: Some parts may be a choking hazard to children under 3

This newsletter is provided in part by our Dinner Sponsors
Bamboo Sponsor:

ViaWest
 www.viawest.com
Black and White Sponsors:

Suncor Energy, Inc.

www.suncor.com

Panda Energy 
www.pandaenergy.com

Spirit Hoods www.spirithoods.com/
Panda Cub Sponsor:

Intermountain Rural
Electric Association

 www.intermountain-rea.com


Pandas International is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Giant Panda.
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