Category: News @ Macau.

“Pandamania” as Macau celebrates Chinese New Year

The people of Macau and the thousands of visitors who flock there to celebrate Chinese New Year have opened their hearts to two adorable new residents – giant pandas Kai Kai and Xin Xin.

In English, the names translate to “happy” and “very happy”. And that’s how they look as they playfully wrestle and dine on bamboo in their new home, the Giant Panda Pavilion, on Coloane Island, a short drive from Macau’s giant resorts on the ritzy, neon-lit Cotai Strip.

Good news is that entry to see the newcomers in their swish enclosure is less than A$2.

Opened in time for the Chinese New Year celebrations, the sophisticated indoor and outdoor habitat, in Seac Pai Van, is part of a 3000 square metre park which cost around A$14 million to design and build.

Kai Kai and Xin Xin, born and raised in Chengdu in Sichuan Province, were a gift of China’s Central Government, arriving in Macau by air in December to go into 30-day quarantine before taking up their new home. Staff from the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Centre provided training to the Macau personnel on how to care for the playful couple.

“We hope Kai Kai and Xin Xin (the pandas’ Mandarin name) grow healthily in Macau and bring unlimited joy to its population, particularly to children and youngsters,” said the State Forestry Administration of China vice minister Yin Hong.

Those views were mirrored by Helen Wong, managing director of the Macau Government Tourist Office (Australia and New Zealand) who said during a recent visit that the pair would play a vital role in drawing visitors from Australia and New Zealand.

“They are yet another attraction to a Macau which is rapidly growing in holiday appeal,” she said. “Little wonder Australians and New Zealanders spend three to four nights on each visit. The attractions, activities, sightseeing (UNESCO World Heritage sites) and dining options are far many to cover in shorter time.”

The China Government decided to send the pair of giant pandas during Macau’s 10th anniversary of becoming a Special Administrative Region in 2009.

More than 12 months later and authorities say the settlement of Kai Kai and Xin Xin has created “panda-mania” in Macau, drawing large crowds of residents and tourists. The giant pandas’ presence in Macau has also provided a boost to public awareness of the conservation of rare and precious wildlife.

The Macau SAR government is confident that the pair will bring “lasting joy to the region and its people” and will “lead a happy and healthy life, and that breeding efforts will be successful in Macau”.

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Category: News @ Macau