Panda Meets New Mate At Worlds Oldest Zoo

Story By: Koen Berghuis, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

The world’s oldest zoo has welcomed a cute panda male from China that was chosen as a breeding partner for the park’s beloved female resident Yang Yang.

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Picture Credits: CEN/Tiergarten Schoenbrunn & CEN/Daniel Zupanc

The 19-year-old male panda, named Yuan Yuan, arrived in the Austrian capital Vienna after making the long journey from China by plane.

He is the latest inhabitant of Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoo, considered to be the world’s oldest.

Zoologist Eveline Dungl and veterinarian Thomas Voracek had previously travelled to China to accompany Yuan Yuan to his new home.

Chinese panda carer Dong Li also travelled with them and will remain in Austria for two weeks to make sure Yuan Yuan settles in his new surroundings.

Li described the male panda as a “laidback bear”.

Zoologist Eveline Dungl said that Yuan Yuan’s calm nature was evident during the flight when the cute panda was relaxed and at ease.

She said: “Yuan Yuan ate bamboo shoots, slept and looked around with curiosity.”

Zoo director Dagmar Schratter said: “We are delighted that Yuan Yuan is here and we all hope that he feels at home in his new surroundings.”

The male bear was specifically chosen as the new partner of 18-year-old resident panda Yang Yang as part of a panda breeding and conservation programme.

Yuan Yuan is currently being kept in quarantine until the end of May when the panda will be officially presented to the public.

Schratter said: “Yang Yang has already looked at him through the glass. We hope she likes him!”

Koen Berghuis

Editor of DACHS / Benelux desk for Central European News, roving correspondent with a penchant for travel, culture, geopolitics, history and the in-depth story behind the headlines.

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