In line with its philosophy of making the enclosures as realistic as possible, the zoo’s director and the chair of the board recently returned from a visit to the China Wildlife Conservation Association in order to research how to create a habitat that will be conducive to the pandas’ thriving – and hopefully to their breeding – in an effort to boost the panda population worldwide.
The zoo once had giant pandas and, while it was tenuous up until this point, the decision to acquire new pandas was a long time coming. Indeed, it has already been five years since the zoo’s previous giant panda passed away without leaving any descendants, despite the zoo’s best efforts. At 34 years old, Bao Bao was the oldest panda in the world at the time of his death, indicating that the zoo is well equipped for caring for these giant, lovable bears.
Frank Bruckmann, the chairman of the the Zoologischer Garten board asserts that, ‘the introduction of pandas is no longer in question.’ A recent press release goes on to say that, ‘zoo visitors can already look forward to being able to meet the pandas in summer 2017.’ The building of the new enclosure will commence this November, solidifying this exciting news.
Even with all the preparations in mind, it still hasn’t been decided which pair of pandas the zoo will adopt when the time comes, likely in the weeks following the announcement. Pandas are often sold to zoos on loan from China for over one million dollars each per year. The zoo intends to keep the pair for the next 15 years starting in 2017. We are certain that they will be in good hands.