On 26th April, Zoo Director, Dr Andreas Knieriem, and Head of Zoology, Dr Ragnar Kühne, travelled to Beijing along with Kieran Stanley, Director of the architectural firm dan pearlman Experience Architecture. The aim of the trip was to begin talks on relocating a panda couple to Berlin.
Immediately upon arrival in Beijing, talks began with the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) and the State Forestry Administration (SFA). The discussions were very positive, focusing primarily on the general contractual conditions, such as how the pandas would be kept and financed.
They visited the two panda breeding stations, Dujiangyan panda base and Chengdu panda base, as soon as the talks in Beijing were completed. The zoo representatives presented the plans for the new panda territory in Berlin, which were very well received by the Chinese. They also discussed the conditions in which the pandas should be kept with the experts on site.
“We had very constructive talks in Beijing. The Chinese expressed great interest in relocating the pandas – this could potentially be achieved by summer 2017. Financing the panda couple was an important point on our agenda. Further negotiations will need to take place on this matter. We would like to compensate for a part of the total sum, for example by directly financing a conservation project in China or scientific work connected with panda breeding,” said Zoo Director, Dr Andreas Knieriem.
Precisely which pandas will be coming to Berlin Zoo is still to be decided. It is certain that it will be a young couple, capable of breeding.
In the next stage of negotiations, the zoo will send its ideas on financing to China.