Macau gets giant pandas

Macau, which is now part of China, has received two giant pandas from the Chinese government to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the former Portuguese colony’s reunification with China.

The Macau Giant Panda Pavilion is nestled against a hill side in Seac Pai Van Park on Coloane Isand in a fan-shaped layout of about 3000sqm.  The pavilion comprises two 330sqm indoor activity quarters and a 600sqm outdoor yard for the inhabitation of the giant pandas and a 900sqm indoor exhibit area. Two viewing paths of different elevations align along the front edge of the fan-layout indoor activity area, accessible to two streams of visitors. Internal facilities include a logistics centre with panda dens, bamboo-washing and storage quarters, feed preparation room and feed warehouse.

According to fossil records, pandas are found existing as early as 8-9 million years ago. Those are immediate forebears of the giant pandas and their size was only one quarter as big as the giant pandas.  After the two-million-year ice age, the smaller giant pandas have adapted to the extreme climate change. They started gaining in body size. In about 600 thousand years from now, they evolved into modern giant pandas.

The two giant pandas, Kai Kai and Xin Xin arrived in Macau in December, 2010, but were left to acclimatise to their surroundings before being exposed to the public.  To celebrate the arrival of the giant pandas, Macao Post even issued stamps with the theme “Giant Pandas” on the day of their arrival, 18th December, 2010.

Macau is one of the fastest developing tourist areas in Asia, thanks mainly to its casinos, which attract millions of gamblers from China.

It is rare for the Chinese Government to bestow pandas on any government, so the gift of Kai Kai and Xin Xin just shows the high esteem with which the people and government are Macau are held by the mainland.

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