Malaysia bids adieu to giant panda cub
KUALA LUMPUR: Hearts were heavy among animal lovers in Malaysia on Tuesday as the country said goodbye to the giant panda cub Nuan Nuan.
Nuan Nuan, whose name means “warmth,” boarded Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH6476 to China.
Nuan Nuan was born on August 15, 2015, at the Giant Panda Conservation Centre at the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur. The cub’s parents, Fu Wa and Feng Yi, came to Malaysia on a 10-year loan from China on May 21, 2014, to commemorate the 40-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.
Under a 2012 agreement between the Malaysian and Chinese governments, a giant panda cub born in Malaysia must be returned to China after the cub turns two years old.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I wish Nuan Nuan goodbye,” Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said in an e-mailed statement.
“I expect she will find a life partner and produce children who will always be connected to Malaysia,” Wan Junaidi said.
According to Malaysian newspaper The Star, the environment minister previously said the National Zoo would have had to expand its panda centre in order to keep the cub.
Airport security personnel escort panda cub Nuan Nuan before she departs for Chengdu at the Malaysia Airlines Berhad Cargo near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday.