After seven weeks in quarantine, giant pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya will make their first public appearance at the Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen this afternoon. "We have been waiting for this moment for a long time", zoo director Robin de Lange said to RTV Utrecht. "You can imagine that if you wait for something so long, then your are very happy that it's finally happening today."
Chinese giant pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya arrived safely in the Netherlands. After traveling nearly 8 thousand kilometers from Chengdu in China, they arrived at their new home in Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen just before midnight on Wednesday, NOS reports.
The two pandas are on loan from China. They will be living in Ouwehands Zoo for the next 15 years.
Giant Pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya are aboard KLM flight KL0892 and en route from Chengdu in China to Schiphol Airport. They are expected to arrive at the Amsterdam airport just after 7:00 p.m., Het Parool reports.
After their arrival, the pandas will be transferred to an animal hotel at the airport, which is run by KLM. There they will be received by the Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands and 40 children. A selected group will be able to catch a quick glimpse of the pandas.
Pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya are very nearly on their way to the Netherlands. On Tuesday China said goodbye to the pandas in a special ceremony. And on Wednesday the two giant pandas will fly to the Netherlands and their new home in Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen on a KLM flight.
During the farewell ceremony the pandas were offered a Schengen visa and each got a bamboo bicycle, as a nod to the Dutch culture, NOS reports.
Chinese giant pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya will be coming to the Netherlands on April 12th. They will arrive at Schiphol before being transported ot the Ouwehand Zoo in Rhenen, where they will stay, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch public will still have to wait a while before being able to see the pandas. They have to spend a few weeks in quarantine after their arrival.
The Netherlands is getting two pandas from China, and without the annual one million dollar fee. The black and white bears will soon be accommodated by the Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen. According to Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs, this is "a sign of the special relationship between China and the Netherlands".