Panda Wei­wei re­turns home af­ter 10 years

Changjiang Weekly - - SOCIETY - By Wang Yaxin

Wuhan Zoo has farewelled Wei­wei, its gi­ant panda, send­ing him back to Sichuan be­cause of its on­go­ing con­struc­tion at the zoo. At 11 p.m. on June 20, Wei­wei ar­rived at the China Con­ser­va­tion and Re­search Cen­ter for the Gi­ant Panda in Du­jiangyan, Sichuan, ac­com­pa­nied by staff from Wuhan Zoo.

It's been 10 years since Wei­wei first ar­rived in Wuhan on June 27, 2008, af­ter an earth­quake de­stroyed his home in Sichuan. Dur­ing his stay here, Wei­wei was cared for by his breeder, Chen Jun. Chen said that be­sides bam­boo, Wei­wei en­joys ap­ples and steamed bread. Wei­wei's weight has risen from 86 to 116 kilo­grams, which is con­sid­ered a nor­mal weight for an adult panda.

Wuhan Zoo has cel­e­brated Wei­wei's birth­day in Au­gust an­nu­ally by pre­par­ing a spe­cial birth­day cake made of steamed bread for him. For many Wuhan cit­i­zens, that spe­cial day in Au­gust is not just Wei­wei's birth­day; it's a hol­i­day. In the past 10 years, thou­sands of cit­i­zens have vis­ited the zoo to cel­e­brate Wei­wei's birth­day.

In the past decade, nearly 500 cit­i­zens have ex­pressed their love for the panda by means of "adopt­ing" or "do­nat­ing." Ev­ery year, Wei­wei at­tracts more than one mil­lion vis­i­tors.

Photo by Hu Jiusi

Wei­wei at the China Con­ser­va­tion and Re­search Cen­ter for the Gi­ant Panda in Sichuan

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