Some original material reprinted by Pandas International's Newsletter is used without editing for accepted English usage.
Happy Chinese New Year!

We hope everyone is enjoying the year of the Dragon. This month’s newsletter is a bit brief. We apologize but Andrea has just returned from maternity leave. March’s newsletter will be back to normal with updates on all the latest Panda news.

Chinese New Year's Dinner

Don’t forget to make
your reservations NOW
for our 12th Annual
Chinese New Year’s Dinner. 

Staff Member's Children's Book Now Available On Amazon
Many of you have enjoyed the poems and stories in our newsletters by staff member Tom McCoy. Tom is cutting back on his duties with Pandas International to spend more time on his own writing endeavors.  If you have a little one in your life and a Kindle, check out Tom's "The Clumsiest Witch." ($5.99)

One reviewer wrote, "This delightful tale, crafted for adults to read to children, will bring back the art of storytelling in your home. Be prepared for little eyes to light up, and be forewarned that The Clumsiest Witch, who lives in a land where 'kittens fly kites, dogs talk, and fish wear colorful ties,' will cast her magical spell on you, too. If you're a fan of Alice in Wonderland, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Night Circus or any such treasures, you will instantly be a fan of The Clumsiest Witch. Read it to your favorite kid, or just read it to yourself for a pure, magical delight."

Want to Travel to China and See the Giant Pandas in Person?
Panda News
Giant Pandas Arrive in Edinburgh

Yang Guang

Tian Tian

Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived in Edinburgh this past December.  The two Giant Pandas took a 9 hour flight from China via Fed Ex and are slowly adjusting to their new home in Scotland.  Besides adjusting to a new enclosure and climate change, the two Giant Pandas have also had to adapt to a different type of bamboo.  It has caused colic in both Giant Pandas, a common condition among Giant Pandas, but happily, their bodies are slowly adjusting and both Pandas are back on display. 

Two Giant Pandas Arrive in France

The arrival of a pair of Giant Pandas in France is no longer a rumor. Rodolphe Delord, the director of ZooParc of Beauval in Saint-Aignan in the Loir-et-Cher, confirmed on the 30th of November, 2011 that the Chinese President Hu Jintao had given his agreement for the loan of two Giant Pandas to France. "Last Wednesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao officially announced to French President Nicolas Sarkozy that he entrusted the Giant Pandas at the zoo of Beauval for a program of conservation and research with the Chengdu panda base" said director of ZooParc of Beauval, Rodolphe Delord.

The contract was originally to be signed at the G20 held in Cannes (France) on the 3rd and 4th of November, indicated the French Minister for Ecology, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. "Things were very far advanced. Unfortunately the Greek crisis, the crisis of sovereign debt, the emergencies of G20 did not allow the latest discussion needed between President Hu Jintao and President Sarkozy,” said the minister during a visit to China on November 6, 2011.

The agreement confirming the transfer to France of a Giant Panda couple for a period of ten years was signed Saturday, December 3, 2011 in the morning at the Embassy of France in Beijing, in the presence of the Ambassador Madam Sylvie Bermann. The signing took place between Ms. Hu Zhongping, Vice President and Secretary General of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) and Rodolphe Delord, CEO of the ZooParc of Beauval. Ms. Delphine Delord, Director of Communications of the ZooParc, was also present. The CAZG is the Chinese Association which administers the Chengdu's panda base, supervised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

This agreement, including a program of conservation and research, is the culmination of five years of work and cooperation between the ZooParc of Beauval, where the two animals will be housed, and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding from which the pair of Giant Pandas come. But it is also the realization of five years of diplomatic negotiations at the highest levels, involving the two presidents of  France and China.

Update from Zoo Madrid: 19 January 2012 Translated by Karen

Female giant pandas are naturally only able to take care of one cub at a time. When twins are born, like Po and DeDe, the mother abandons one of the babies to focus her attention on the other.
As you all know, Zoo Madrid used the protocol that their Chinese colleagues began in China a few years ago: swapping the babies so that both live. But surely you are wondering how they have been able to swap the babies.
From the moment she gave birth, Hua Zui Ba behaved as expected attending to Po (the first to be born). When DeDe was born 1 ½ hours later, Hua Zui Ba didn’t attend to him. It was then that the team made up of technical experts from Chengdu and Zoo Madrid quickly took the 2nd cub and carried him to an incubator.

In those moments the process of swapping began, during which time both babies were cared for and nursed by the mother, but it was done by turns. Hua Zui Ba always has shown the right behavior and she never showed any sign of rejecting either of the babies.

The swapping of babies is a very delicate technique, especially in the first moments. When the babies were small, we were able to take them from the mother by distracting her with food and then we would immediately return the other baby that had been in the incubator. Hua Zui Ba quickly adapted to this process and began to actively work with us.

In the beginning the babies were swapped every 3-4 hours. This process was prolonged as they grew. Once the babies learned how to walk, the swaps were easier each time since they could go to their mother on their own. Hua Zui Ba even helped us when one of the babies took a wrong turn and she would carefully nudge him towards where he needed to go.

Actually, Po and DeDe don’t require as much care and as a result, Hua Zui Ba remains with the twins almost all day long. But we continue to give them time each day so that they can play with their Mother and they can continue to calmly nurse, avoiding fights or that one twin nurses more than the other.

Without a doubt this has been a very delicate process that has required a great deal of effort by all the people at Zoo Madrid who are in charge of caring for our Giant Pandas just like at the Chengdu Base. But the main reason for our success has been Hua Zui Ba who, being a first time mother, has demonstrated her maternal skills with perfect behavior and instincts throughout this process.

Panda Videos and Pictures
Valentine’s Gifts For That Special Someone

There’s still plenty of time to order
"loveable" Panda gifts for February 14!

Be sure to place your order
for any of our wonderful Valentine’s Day merchandise
by February 10 to receive it by the 14th.

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