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Malaysia bids farewell to Nuan Nuan, the cute ball of fluff, as the baby panda left for China on board flight MH6476. She will be taken to Du­jiang­yar Re­search Base of Giant Panda Breed­ing Sichuan.

The Star Malaysia - - News - By RAHIMY RAHIM rahimyr@thes­

SEPANG: Care­taker Ah­mad Farhan Ah­mad Razei held Nuan Nuan’s paw one last time as he told the baby panda to be a good girl dur­ing the flight to China.

“This is what I do ev­ery morn­ing since she was one week old. I will miss her very much.

“On her last day at Zoo Ne­gara, I spent the whole day with her and fed her us­ing my hands,” he said af­ter the send­ing-off cer­e­mony at the MASkargo de­pot yes­ter­day.

The first Malaysian-born fe­male panda cub can be a hand­ful, ac­cord­ing to Ah­mad Fahran.

“She is naughty and play­ful, but she is also loved to bits by those who care for her,” he said.

Ah­mad Farhan, 26, had been tak­ing care of Nuan Nuan, which means warmth, since she was one week old.

“Be­tween the first and eight weeks, Nuan Nuan was with her mother Liang Liang.

“Af­ter that, she started to be ac­tive and we had to carry her around. She is cheer­ful and play­ful. She loves it when we give her toys such as a broom or ball,” he added.

Nuan Nuan is the off­spring of Xing Xing and Liang Liang.

She was born within 15 months of the ar­rival of Xing Xing and Liang Liang in Malaysia on a 10-year loan.

They came on May 21, 2014 to mark the 40th an­niver­sary of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween Malaysia and China.

The Gov­ern­ment pre­vi­ously said Nuan Nuan would be sent to China, ex­plain­ing that the Giant Panda Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre at Zoo Ne­gara would need to be ex­panded if Nuan Nuan re­mained longer.

Nuan Nuan left Malaysia on board Flight MH6476 which de­parted at about 5.35pm and landed at the Shuan­glin Air­port in Chengdu at 10.55pm (lo­cal time).

Nuan Nuan was then brought to the Du­jiangyan Re­search Base of Giant Panda Breed­ing in Sichuan.

Ah­mad Farhan re­vealed that Nuan Nuan has her favourite panda teddy bear, which she brings around even when she goes to sleep.

“We tried to give Nuan Nuan an­other teddy bear but she prefers the panda teddy bear we gave her from the Zoo Ne­gara sou­venir shop,” he said.

On Nuan Nuan’s favourite food, he said the fluff­ball loves car­rot and has its own panda cake – made from soy beans, corn and a bit of rice in the form of a moon­cake.

Zool­ogy, Ve­teri­nary and Giant Panda Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre di­rec­tor Dr Mat Naim Ramli, who is part of the en­tourage to China un­til Fri­day, said the team had made all the nec­es­sary prepa­ra­tions for al­most three months.

“We are wor­ried about mo­tion sick­ness and move­ment and we are try­ing to min­imise the stress. It will be a long jour­ney for Nuan Nuan.

“We will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion each day,” he said.

MASkargo chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ah­mad Luq­man Mohd Azmi said the team has ex­per­tise and knowl­edge in live an­i­mal han­dling and trans­porta­tion.

“We suc­cess­fully trans­ported Nuan Nuan’s par­ents just over three years ago and it is our national duty to bring their daugh­ter back to China,” he said.

“We have to make sure the doc­u­men­ta­tion is in or­der and crate spec­i­fi­ca­tions are in com­pli­ance with international rules.”

The cost of send­ing Nuan Nuan to China is be­lieved to be RM448,000, said sources.

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