World’s Oldest Zoo To Welcome New Panda Couple After Deal With China

The oldest zoo in the world will welcome a new panda couple after extending its cooperation with China to keep protecting the rare animals for another decade.

The Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, reaffirmed its dedication to conserving and hosting giant pandas, maintaining its rare status among global zoos since 2003.

Zoo Director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “Since the beginning of the Chinese-Austrian cooperation, we have been committed to protecting and preserving the endangered bamboo bears and their habitat together with our conservation partner in China, the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA).

“Now the successful research cooperation has been extended for another ten years.”

Schoenbrunn Zoo/Newsflash

Highlighting the unique connection between China and Austria, Ambassador Qi Mei, said: “The giant pandas are a symbol of Chinese-Austrian friendship.

“The teams in both countries have established a successful collaboration to protect our national pride, the giant panda, and have achieved great results.

“I would like to thank everyone involved for this.”

Hering-Hagenbeck thanked the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) for the long-standing cooperation and said: “In the wild, the number of giant pandas has increased from 1,100 to around 1,900 since 1980.

“Our joint efforts have meant that the giant panda is no longer considered critically endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2021, but only endangered.

image shows (from left to right) Eveline Dungl, zoological curator at Schoenbrunn Zoo, zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck, Ana Haschka, commercial director at Schoebrunn Zoo, undated photo. They signed the cooperation agreement on June 26, 2024. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

“The success of protecting the giant panda has thus been recognised by the international species conservation community.

“A lot has already been achieved together, but there is still a lot to do.”

The two pandas residing at the zoo, Yang Yang, 24, and Yuan Yuan, 25, are scheduled to return to China in the autumn. The exact departure date is yet to be finalised.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the arrival of two new pandas at the zoo.

Hering-Hagenbeck announced that before the pandas’ relocation, renovations would enhance the indoor enclosure.

Plans include expanding the male panda’s area to include a retreat space and enlarging the female panda’s area for medical training.

Additionally, the visitor area will undergo a redesign to offer an entirely new panda viewing experience for visitors.

image shows (from left to right) Eveline Dungl, zoological curator at Schoenbrunn Zoo, zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck, Ana Haschka, commercial director at Schoebrunn Zoo, undated photo. They signed the cooperation agreement on June 26, 2024. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

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Story By: Georgina JedikovskaSub-EditorGeorgina JedikovskaAgency: Newsflash

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