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Giant Panda Cub Le Le Arrives Safely In China On A Specially Arranged Singapore Airlines Flight

A fresh year marks a new beginning for Le Le who safely touched down at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport on 16 January 2024. Le Le is now serving his second round of quarantine, a mandatory measure, having completed the first stage at River Wonders in the Mandai Wildlife Reserve before his flight to China. During this period, the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda (CCRCGP) will be monitoring Le Le closely to determine the most suitable permanent residence for him, post-quarantine.

Departure day was filled with emotional moments as the panda care team prepared Le Le for his flight and said their heartfelt goodbyes to him. Le Le’s customised travel crate was loaded onto an air-conditioned truck, which left for Singapore Changi Airport in the afternoon on 16 January 2024.

Minister of State (Trade and Industry), Mr Alvin Tan, and Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore, Mr Zhu Jing, were present on the tarmac to bid Le Le farewell. Joined by the management of Mandai Wildlife Group as well as Singapore Airlines (SIA), they observed Le Le’s travel crate being loaded onto the specially arranged SIA Boeing 747-400F freighter aircraft.

Accompanying Le Le on the flight were his keeper and veterinarian from Mandai Wildlife Group, as well as a keeper from China. They fed and checked on Le Le frequently on board the aircraft. Le Le took well to the flight and maintained his water intake. He had a good appetite throughout, chomping on bamboo, bamboo shoots, fruit, and pellets.

Le Le’s arrival in China marks a new chapter for him as he now officially joins China’s giant panda conservation programme for the protection of his species.

Images © Mandai Wildlife Group

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