The only pair left are the parents and they are also expected to return to China soon.
Zoo Negara was filled with a gloomy atmosphere yesterday as Yi Yi and Sheng Yi, the panda cubs born in Malaysia as part of a global giant panda conservation agreement between Malaysia and China, returned to their home country.
The giant panda babies left Zoo Negara’s Giant Panda Conservation Centre at 4pm yesterday and were given a heartwarming send off.
@aishaharrisya Pesanan daddy Akmal make me cry 😭 Anak Malaysia yg kuat. Pasti akan bahagia dgn keluarga baru. Semoga penjaga baru YiYi dan ShengYi menyayangi mereka sepenuh hati ♥️ 👱♂️ : Bye YiYi 👋🏻 Bye ShengYi 👋🏻Pandai2 jaga diri kat tempat orang 😢 #yiyi #shengyi #anakpandamalaysia #anakmalaysia ♬ Semata Karenamu – Mario G Klau
@lensa_alam Semoga perjalanan puteri- puteri panda kelahiran Malaysia ini selamat ke destinasi 🐼🐼🇲🇾 #yiyi #shengyi #pandamalaysia #zoonegara #gobackchina ♬ original sound – Samsu Alam
According to Deputy Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii, Yi Yi, who is now five years old, was supposed to return home in 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in delays, as reported by Malay Mail.
“Considering that Sheng Yi also reached 24 months of age last May, the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) has agreed to Malaysia’s proposal to send the third giant panda cub back together with Yi Yi,” he added.
The International Cooperative Agreement on Giant Panda Conservation, agreed by both parties in 2012, was followed in the repatriation of Yi Yi and Sheng Yi.
Many visited Zoo Negara yesterday to bid farewell to the panda siblings.
@puteriintan_62 #giantpandaconservationcentre #zoonegaramalaysia #pandawarriormalaysia #BiarJauhDiMataTapiDekatDiHati ♬ original sound – PuteriIntanPW043
Eiza Idanie, a 42-year-old visitor at the zoo shed a few tears as she waved farewell to the vehicles taking the cubs out of the zoo.
“I’ve been a big fan of the pandas since I was young, and I have been following the cubs’ parents, Fu Wa, and Feng Yi, since before they first arrived at the zoo in 2014. I hope they return one day once they are fully matured,” she said, as reported by The Star.
Eiza hopes to visit them in China in the future.
A shopkeeper at a souvenir outlet, Yee, expressed her sadness at the departure of the two giant pandas.
Yee, who has worked at the zoo since the parents first arrived in 2014, said it was surreal to see their children leave.
Zoo Negara deputy director Rosly@Rahmat Ahmat Lana assured animal lovers that the pair would be in good hands.
“Their journey home will be joined by one of the zoo’s senior vets as well as the director of administration, Ahmad Nizam Zainudin,” he stated.
When the parents of the cubs initially arrived in 2014, Ahmad Nizam was the first zookeeper to care for them, and he has continued to do so even after being promoted to his present post.
According to Rosly, he is the most qualified for the role of assisting the cubs in adjusting to their new life in China because he is most familiar with all of their feeding and personal routines.
Moreover, Rosly hoped that the parents’ stay in Malaysia could be extended to prevent another sad goodbye next year.
The parents are currently the only two pandas left at the zoo and are expected to return to China in May next year.
He expressed hope that the Malaysian and Chinese governments could discuss extending the pair’s stay by another five years at least.