Chinese giant pandas are expected to live in Adelaide Zoo for another five years.

[Social News]     09 Oct 2019
Wang and Fanny have been living at Adelaide Zoo since 2009 and are trying to negotiate to extend their stay until 2024. (picture of Adelaide Today)

Wang and Fanny have been living at Adelaide Zoo since 2009 and are trying to negotiate to extend their stay until 2024. (picture of Adelaide Today)

The agreement between giant panda Wangwang and Fanny from China to retain Adelaide expires next month, but the Adelaide Zoo is now "very, very confident" to renew its contract at the last minute.

The Adelaide Zoo is prepared to keep its valued giant pandas for at least five years, according to the Adelaide News today. It is expected to reach a last-minute agreement with China by the deadline next month.

Despite federal and state government pledges and funding commitments, whether Wangwang and Fanny will remain in Adelaide remains unassured.

But Benstead (Elaine Bensted), chief executive of South Australia Zoo, said outstanding issues would be reached with (China Wildlife Protection Association), the China Wildlife Conservation Association, before the current agreement expires next month.

Although the financial terms have been agreed, China`s protection and research exchange program in Australia over the next five years has not yet been finalized.

Wang is taking a cold bath (picture of Adelaide Today)

"I`m very confident that Wang and Fanny will stay in Adelaide," Ms. Benstead told the media.

Benstead said that China`s wildlife protection authorities have traditionally waited until the expiration of the contract to confirm the renewal of the contract, and said that this is not a matter of concern.

She flew to China in April and began negotiations with the Wildlife Conservation Association to keep giant pandas until 2024.

In April, the state government pledged to fund an extension of the lease at the South Australian Zoo, which was previously paid by federal government.

The cost is about A $1.5 million a year, but it is believed to be lower under the agreement currently under negotiation.

The initial loan agreement between Wangwang and Fawney was signed in September 2007 and was led by then-diplomatic minister Donald (Alexander Downer), who promoted Australian tourism and Australia-China relationship.

Wangwang, a 14-year-old male panda and Fanny, a 13-year-old female panda, are being raised in captivity in Sichuan Giant Panda Nature Reserve. It is hoped that the two pandas will breed in Adelaide, one of a global program aimed at ensuring the long-term survival of the species.

The annual breeding plan was suspended in August because of negotiations on a lease extension. Although the couple repeatedly failed to hold their children, it made it possible to collect hormones and other data.

The next five years are considered to be a key five years for panda offspring, and zoos will preserve panda offspring for two years before they are sent to China, as Wangwang and Fanny are at the peak of mating maturity.

Ms Benstead said it was gratifying that giant panda protection had improved over the past decade, suggesting that funding from zoos around the world was playing a role.

Giant pandas are one of the most popular attractions in the zoo, attracting about 450000 visitors a year.

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