GIANT panda twins ‘You You’ and ‘Jiu Jiu’ born last September in Madrid Zoo Aquarium made their first public appearance on Monday.
They were the first pandas born at the zoo since 2016.
Queen Sofia was accompanied by Chinese Ambassador Wu Haitao, Mayor of Madrid Jose Luis Almeida, and Madrid’s Regional President Isabel Diaz Ayuso, for a special event to officially launch the zoo’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
The twins, born to Hua Zuiba, a female panda and her partner Bing Xing, are now about six months old and set to be the zoo’s main attraction.
Ambassador Wu highlighted the good relationship between China and Spain, saying that pandas ‘represent the friendship and cultural exchanges between China and Spain’ and that the cubs’ names ‘symbolize best wishes for friendship’.
Mayor Luis Almeida said: “Thanks to zoos and conservation centres around the world, the threat level for pandas has been reduced in recent years.”
Diaz Ayuso highlighted the role the zoo plays ‘in the conservation of endangered species, which is essential to promoting biodiversity and animal protection’.
The international captive breeding programme for the giant panda has seen it now declassified from an endangered species to the ‘vulnerable’ category.
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