KUALA LUMPUR: Zoo Negara is not planning to extend Nuan Nuan’s stay in the country after next year.
Its president Datuk Seri Zaharin Md Arif said it will be costly to extend the baby panda’s stay beyond the two-year agreement with China.
“In the agreement between Malaysia and China, we have to make a ‘one-off’ payment of US$600,000 (RM2.4mil), not including the annual insurance premium of RM200,000,” Zaharin told reporters after the 10th birthday celebration of Nuan Nuan’s parents Xing Xing and Liang Liang at the zoo here.
“But we will discuss with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and China Wildlife Conservation Association on extending Nuan Nuan’s stay in November,” he added.
Malaysian Zoological Society’s Giant Panda Conservation Centre director Dr Mat Naim Ramli said if the baby panda’s stay was extended, the cost of maintenance and separate accommodation must also be taken into account.
“This is because mother and baby pandas are allowed to live together when the baby is below two years. After that, the baby is separated from the mother to live independently.
“And the contract can only be extended for another two years,” he added.
In celebration of the panda couple’s 10th birthday, two special cakes were prepared for Xing Xing and Liang Liang in the Giant Panda Conservation Centre.
The Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was present to launch the birthday ceremony for the pandas.