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Chengdu Giant Pandas “Jiao Qing” and “Meng Meng” Arrive in Germany Proofreader: Charlene Johnson   Time: 2017-07-01

The China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) and the Berlin Zoo in Germany signed a 15-year Sino-German Cooperation Agreement on Giant Panda Conservation and Research in April 2017. According to the agreement, “Jiao Qing” and “Meng Meng”, two giant pandas from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, departed from Chengdu, China on June 23, 2017 and arrived in Berlin Schoenefeld Airport at 14:49 German local time on June 24 after a flight of more than 10 hours. As the special plane carrying the pandas slowly taxied on the tarmac, a Chinese national flag and a German flag flew out of the cabin, followed by two fire trucks performing a “welcome and washing off the dust” ceremony for the plane with water cannons. It is said that this is one of the highest greeting honors given to special guests ariving at the Berlin airports. It was 10 years ago that the German public last saw giant pandas arrive in Germany. The arrival of the special plane carrying the pair of pandas was live broadcasted by over thirty media awaiting at the airport, including CCTV, Xinhua News Agency and Deutschland Radio Berlin.
In order to welcome “Jiao Qing” and “Meng Meng”, Michael Muller, Mayor of Berlin, Shi Mingde, Chinese Ambassador to Germany, Chairman of the Board of Berlin Zoo and representative directors of the Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, among others, were present at the airport. CEO of Berlin Zoo was interviewed by Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg throughout the process, introducing relevant information of giant pandas. The Captain and Chief Vet of Berlin Zoo noted during the interview that the two giant pandas had lain on their back throughout the travel, eating bamboo; they arrived in Berlin in a relaxed and comfortable state. The plane carried more than 500kg of bamboo to feed the two giant pandas, and to help them adapt to the new environment quickly. The Chinese delegation, led by Guo Lixin, Deputy Secretary-General of CWCA, also participated in the welcome ceremony at the airport. They were excited at seeing pandas receive such a high standard reception in Germany, and communicated with CEO of Berlin Zoo with respect to the giant pandas’ living conditions in Germany. The CEO promised the Chinese delegation that Berlin Zoo would take good care of these two giant pandas and the delegation could rest assured.
After a brief appearance at the airport, “Jiao Qing” and “Meng Meng” were carried by a special vehicle for the last leg of their journey to their new home, the Berlin Zoo. Police vehicles cleared the way, followed by media fleet recording this historic moment together. Local citizens in Berlin said that the giant pandas were given a VIP treatment. In addition, at the Berlin Zoo, 22 kilometers away, numerous people were waiting along the way. They knew that “Jiao Qing” and “Meng Meng” would not be introduced to the public on that day, but just seeing the truck carrying pandas pass by was enough to excite everyone. “Jiao Qing” and “Meng Meng” will make their formal debut after the quarantine period.

 

 

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing arrive in Germany

 

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing arrive in Germany

 

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing arrive in Germany

 

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing arrive in Germany

 

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing arrive in Germany

 

Michael Muller, Mayor of Berlin, delivers a speech

 

Shi Mingde, Chinese Ambassador to Germany, delivers a speech

 

Group photo of Chinese and German representatives

 

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