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Singapore’s panda couple will arrive in chartered jet

August 23, 2012

The pandas will be kept in quarantine for a month and visitors willable to see them in December.

SINGAPORE: The panda couple will arrive here next month, in a specially chartered jet complete with minders to cater to their every whim.

Giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia will make their eagerly anticipated Singapore debut on Sept 6. They will have an entourage of vets and keepers to look after them during the five-hour flight on a Singapore Airlines Boeing 747 freighter.

The freighter, which can carry up to 134 tons of cargo, will take on board 200kg of bamboo to feed its celebrity guests. It will be kept at a cool 18 degree C to 22 degree C, with humidity hovering between 50% and 60% – similar to the creatures’ natural habitat.

The Republic is only the ninth country to benefit from a 10-year panda loan deal with China. The agreement was made official during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to Singapore in 2009.

On arrival the pandas will be put in a temperature-controlled truck and driven to the River Safari. Staff will quarantine them in a den for a month before giving them another month to get used to their new US$6.8 million enclosure.

Visitors will be able to see them in December when the exhibit opens to the public. The US$128 million River Safari will be officially unveiled in the first quarter of next year.



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