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Published: Wednesday April 2, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday April 2, 2014 MYT 7:33:25 AM

Malaysia gets to keep cub if giant pandas mate

Yuan Zai , the first Taiwan-born baby panda, climbs inside its enclosure at the Taipei City Zoo on January 6, 2014.  Yuan Zai, who weighed 180 grams (6.35 ounces) at birth, now weighs about 14 kilos (31 lbs) and make made her anticipated public debut as she turned six months old.      AFP PHOTO / Mandy CHENG

Yuan Zai , the first Taiwan-born baby panda, climbs inside its enclosure at the Taipei City Zoo on January 6, 2014. Yuan Zai, who weighed 180 grams (6.35 ounces) at birth, now weighs about 14 kilos (31 lbs) and make made her anticipated public debut as she turned six months old. AFP PHOTO / Mandy CHENG

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will get to keep the baby of the two giant pandas, Fu Wa and Feng Yi, if they successfully mate in Zoo Negara.

Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr James Dawos Mamit said the two giant pandas, which will be on loan to Malaysia from China, will arrive at KL International Airport at 6.30am on April 15.

“If the two giant pandas produce a baby here, we will get to keep the baby. When the baby reaches three years of age, Fu Wa and Feng Yi will be sent back to China,” he said when wrapping up points for the ministry during the debate for the Supplementary Supply (2013) Bill 2014.

James said this in reply to a question by G. Manivannan (PKR – Kapar) who asked if it was true that if the two giant pandas produced a baby, the cub must be returned to China when it is three years old.

James said if a baby was produced, the cub would belong to Malaysia while its parents would be sent back to China when it reached three years of age.

“We will care for this baby panda and it will be part of the zoo for visitors to see and appreciate,” he said.

On the bamboo leaves to be fed to the pandas, James said the plant species was found in Malaysia and had been identified by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, which would ensure a steady supply.

Upon arrival, the pair will be housed in the 1.6ha Giant Panda Conservation and Exhibition Centre at Zoo Negara.

The total cost of the exhibition centre is RM25mil, with RM15mil funded by the 1Malaysia Development Bhd and the rest borne by the Government.

On June 15, 2012, the Malaysian and Chinese governments clinched a deal for Feng Yi and Fu Wa to be loaned to Malaysia for 10 years to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries this year.

Tags / Keywords: Environment, panda Fu Wa Feng Yi James Dawos

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