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Yun Chuan and Xin Bao moved to San Diego

Posted by Jeroen Jacobs | Date: 2024 06 26 | In: San Diego Zoo

A delegation of representatives from the United States, including
leaders of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, joined esteemed dignitaries and conservation leaders earlier
today in China at the China Conservation & Research Center for Giant Pandas in Sichuan province for a
farewell ceremony honoring the two giant pandas coming to the San Diego Zoo.

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo

The historic ceremony commemorating the departure of pandas Yun Chuan and Xin Bao was
attended by San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance President and CEO Paul Baribault, San Diego Mayor Todd
Gloria, and U.S. and Chinese dignitaries. It included cultural performances, video salutations from
Chinese and American students and a gift exchange among conservation partners.

The panda pair Yun Chuan and Xin Bao, the first to enter the United States in 21 years, will travel
to the San Diego Zoo soon after the farewell ceremony. After the pandas have safely arrived in San
Diego, they will not be viewable to the public for several weeks while they acclimate to their new home.
As soon as wildlife health and care teams confirm Yun Chuan and Xin Bao are ready to meet the public,
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance will share a debut date and specific information about how to see the
beloved pandas.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Yun Chuan and Xin Bao to the San Diego Zoo,” said
Baribault. “This farewell celebrates their journey and underscores a collaboration between the United
States and China on vital conservation efforts. Our long-standing partnership with China Wildlife
Conservation Association has been instrumental in advancing giant panda conservation, and we look
forward to continuing our work together to ensure the survival and thriving of this iconic species.”

The multinational ceremony reflects the deep connections pandas have to San Diego Zoo,
which was the first Zoo in the United States to have a cooperative panda conservation program. Yun
Chuan, a nearly five-year-old male, is the son of Zhen Zhen, who was born at San Diego Zoo in 2007.This year marks the 30th anniversary of the conservation partnership between San Diego Zoo
Wildlife Alliance and China Wildlife Conservation Association. The collaboration has greatly advanced
giant panda conservation, leading to the downgrading of the giant panda’s status from Endangered to
Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2016. The efforts include
developing a giant panda milk formula and, with our partners, other neonatal conservation techniques
that dramatically increased survival rates for nursery-reared cubs from less than 10% to over 90%, as
well as advanced reproductive techniques and the contribution of valuable expertise to efforts led by
Chinese scientists to track wild giant pandas at the Foping National Nature Reserve using GPS
technology. The ongoing collaboration aims to further enhance the health and resilience of giant panda
populations, especially the most vulnerable and isolated groups.

Although the conservation status of the giant panda is improving, there is still much work
needed to ensure they remain on the path to recovery with healthy and flourishing populations. The
conservation collaboration between San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and China Wildlife Conservation
Association aims to improve giant panda population health and resilience in some of the smallest and
most isolated populations vulnerable to extinction and loss of genetic diversity.

Source: San Diego Zoo

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