The Pandas are
Two giant pandas, a male named Shi Shi and a female named Bai Yun, arrived at the San Diego Zoo on September 10, 1996. The pandas are here for a 12 year research loan that is part of an ongoing global giant panda conservation program.
The arrival of the pandas marks an important milestone for the Zoological Society of San Diego's 17 year relationship with China. Bill Fox, the president of the Zoological Society's Board of Trustees said, "We have worked for a long time to make this panda loan become a reality, and we are especially grateful for Senator Feinstein's interest and support." California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein was instrumental in gaining the final approval for the loan from the President Jiang Zemin of the People's Republic of China.
"Because of the research aspects of this loan, we are taking a giant step toward unraveling some of the biological mysteries of giant panda behavior and reproduction," said Bill Fox. "Having giant pandas on-site in San Diego will enhance the research efforts that are already underway here and in China.
( Photo by Ron Garrison, copyrighted by the Zoological Society of San Diego. )
The San Diego Zoo is contributing $1,000,000 each year to wild habitat protection projects outline in China's National Conservation Plan for the Giant Panda and its Habitat. Giant panda numbers in the wild are estimated at fewer than 1,000 animals because of the habitat destruction and fragmentation, bamboo die-oofs and poaching.
Highlights of the San Diego Zoo's loan agreement with China include:
THE SAN DIEGO ZOO IS OPERATED BY THE NON-PROFIT ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF SAN DIEGO. THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY , WHICH IS DEDICATED TO THE CONSERVATION OF ENDANGERED SPECIES AND THEIR HABITATS, ALSO MANAGES THE 2,200 ACRE SAN DIEGO WILD ANIMAL PARK AND THE CENTER FOR REPRODUCTION OF ENDANGERED SPECIES.
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