(Yicai Global) Jan. 18 -- The giant pandas Hua Bao and Jin Bao Bao, in Finnish Lumi (Snow) and Pyry (Flurry), arrived in Finland by exceptional transport from Chengdu, China on 18 January 2017. Finland became one of the few states in the world that has giant panda conservation and research cooperation with China.
Placing the giant pandas in Finland is thanks to the excellent relations between the two countries and the long-term forest cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland and the State Forestry Administration of China. The giant panda research and conservation project is implemented together with Ähtäri Zoo and the giant panda specialists of the China Wildlife Conservation Association. The Natural Resources Institute Finland and various Finnish universities will also take part in this work.
The negotiations on the giant pandas between Finland and China started in 2015 and made good progress. Placing the giant pandas in Finland and the Ähtäri Zoo was confirmed in early April when the President of the People’s Republic of China visited Finland.
“I am very well aware of the sustained action taken in China for the conservation of the giant panda. Thanks to these serious efforts, the giant panda population is now growing. The fact that Finland is now concretely involved in the conservation effort is truly special”, says Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä. He stresses the important role of the close Finnish-Chinese cooperation in the water and food sectors as well.
The Finnish climate is similar to the climate conditions in the Qionglai Mountains in China, the habitat of the giant panda, where they are also used to snow. The giant pandas are also hoped to breed in the environment that resembles their natural habitat.
“Ähtäri Zoo has won a position that is recognized worldwide in the conservation of threatened species. The work done at the Zoo is supported by internationally valued Finnish expertise in bear biology and veterinary medicine. We can be sure that the pandas will have a good home in the Ähtäri Zoo, which has the finest Snowpanda House outside China”, says Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, who has been active in the project from the very beginning.