On Wednesday 12 April, the giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen from China will land on Dutch soil.
The two giant pandas, who were symbolically gifted to the Netherlands by China during the state visit of our Royal Couple in October 2015, will now arrive in the Netherlands following a 16-year period of consultations and preparations. Following the inspection of the giant panda enclosure by the Chinese authorities in January, Ouwehands Zoo was given the green light to set the transport in motion today. KLM will arrange this special flight from Chengdu, China to Amsterdam. Expected arrival time in Amsterdam is 7.05 PM.
KLM Cargo is honoured to be able to transport the giant pandas from Chengdu to their new enclosure in Ouwehands Zoo. KLM Cargo specialises in the animal-friendly and responsible transport of a wide range of animal species and employs specialised personnel with the knowledge and expertise to ensure that the animals are looked after as well as possible during their journey. KLM is one of the few airline companies with its own animal hotel at Schiphol airport. It is fully equipped to care for animals before, during and after their journey. Specially trained animal stewards ensure that the animals travel as comfortably and safely as possible in a partitioned environment. Giant pandas are not transported very often. However, KLM Cargo has already transported giant pandas a few times. KLM Cargo will use this experience to safely fly Xing Ya and Wu Wen to the Netherlands. The pandas will travel in enclosures made especially for them.
Arrival at Schiphol
Upon arrival, the animals will be fetched from the aircraft hold by KLM Cargo and transported to the KLM Animal Hotel. The animals will be cleared through customs here and a health check will take place. The Dutch press, Chinese and Dutch dignitaries and guests will subsequently meet the giant pandas for the first time.
Arrival in Rhenen
The lorry with which the two giant pandas will be transported will follow a special route through the centre of Rhenen. A warm welcome awaits them there, which will naturally be in an entirely panda-themed manner. When Xing Ya and Wu Wen arrive in Ouwehands Zoo they will be quarantined for several weeks. Visitors to the zoo will only be able to see the giant pandas after the official opening, the date of which is yet to be announced.
This enclosure for giant pandas is part of a larger Asian project, which will provide accommodation for a number of Asian species, such as small pandas and muntjacs. The whole area covers about 9,000 m², of which 3,400 m² is reserved for the giant panda enclosure. The enclosure consists of two sections, a separate indoor and outdoor enclosure for the male and the female, several night accommodations, a nursery, a cold store for storing bamboo, a veterinary clinic and a keepers’ area. In addition, a restaurant with a Chinese/Asian look will complete the project.
Giant panda conservation
The giant panda is an endangered species found only in the wild in China. At the last count, there were only around 1,850 giant pandas living in the wild. By signing the cooperation agreement with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association, Ouwehands Zoo has committed itself to participation in an extensive nature conservation project, with the objective of protecting giant pandas in the wild. Besides the arrival of the giant pandas in Rhenen, Ouwehands Zoo will make a substantial financial contribution each year to support nature-protection activities in China.
Online reservation compulsory!
In order to ensure that a visit to Ouwehands Zoo and the giant pandas is an amazing experience, it will only be possible to buy tickets for the zoo online from after the official opening.
About KLM Cargo
KLM Cargo is the freight division of KLM and, in addition to the transport of regular cargo, specialises in the transport of special cargo. From exclusive paintings and sport cars to competition horses, livestock, living insects, pets, tropical fish and now the two giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen.