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Pairi Daiza Pairi Daiza to get giant pandas

Discussion in 'Belgium' started by kiang, 11 Sep 2013.

  1. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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  2. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    Antwerp Zoo are said to be outraged, arguing that they would be the better facility to house pandas.
     
  3. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Has anybody here been to this zoo and if so, what did you think of it? From looking at their website and how they interact with their elephants it looks like a strange combination of zoo, cultural theme park, and circus.
     
  4. TARZAN

    TARZAN Well-Known Member

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    But could Antwerp afford ?600,000 per annum for ten years?:)
     
  5. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    Some information in English from BBC News

    BBC News - China panda diplomacy sparks Belgium row

     
  6. Jola

    Jola Well-Known Member

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    Xing Hui is currently living in Shanghai and the female Hao Hao at Langzhong where Fu Long (the panda born at Vienna) is living, too.
     
  7. forumbully

    forumbully Well-Known Member

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    to put a few things in perspective:
    - Antwerp housed giant pandas in the 80's for just a few months. that was the time that china sent pandas around the world like "rock stars". a few months in belgium, a few in England, a few in ... you get the idea. so I'm not sure if that counts as experience.
    - Pairi Daiza has had plans for giant pandas since they opened their chinese garden. Back then they finally dropped the idea in favor of other projects (ganesha, australia and terre des origines). but they had already had contact with china about it.
    - they applied for pandas again almost 2 years ago. this came up during a political visit of our prime minister to china. The media turned it into the minister applying for the pandas for his hometown zoo. (he's from Mons, which is close to pairi daiza.
    - Antwerp zoo has applied for pandas with several political and commercial missions to china. they made this application through the delegation sent on these missions.
    - it's unclear to me if antwerp is willing (and able) to pay the massive rent china charges to host the animals
    - the media hardly ever made mention of these fees in articles or news reports, making it seem like a gift to pairi daiza.

    I regularly visit both zoos and allthough I'm sure antwerp could house giant pandas more than adequately (the bear exhibit was apparently designed with the option of pandas in mind), I think pairi daiza is the logical choise.

    Their vision is to depict both cultural and natural aspects of regions around the globe. they are privately run, with a good cashflow (whereas antwerp still relies on government fundings).

    Granted, they sometimes have a unique view on animal keeping, which is most clear in the way they work with their elephants (hands on, and much in the traditional ways of asian countries. again, part of the cultural aspect). but this doesnt come at the cost of animal welfare.
     
  8. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    Where in the zoo were the pandas housed on their visit in the 80s?
     
  9. forumbully

    forumbully Well-Known Member

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    on the lions or the tigers island. I' believe the tigers island but am not sure, as I was a pre-teen at the time.

    the cats themselves were moved to the cages next to the island for the duration of the pandas stay.
     
  10. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

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    If I remember well it was actually the former lion-enclosure.
     
  11. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    I also believe to remenmber it was the lion-enclosure. Thr enclosure for the Panda ( during the times I visit them there always was only one panda outside, the other one being in an other - indoor - enclosure because they didn't got along that well with eachother ! ) was a very simple, small grass-floor covered enclosure with none - or very little - enrichment.
    Another negative point about the Panda-visit to Antwerp was that at the same time another pair was on loan at Beekse Bergen which is about 60 - 80 kilometers from Antwerp and if I remember right no rael Panda-mania broke out nor at Antwerp, nor at Beekse Bergen ( I hardly know people who went to see both pairs at both zoos when they were there ( I did ofcourse ! )).
     
  12. forumbully

    forumbully Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure there were pandas in Beekse Bergen and Antwerp at exactly the same time.
    I believe there was a short period in between, but not long at all.

    Again, This is from memory from my pre-teen years, so it's a bit blurred. (aging does that to you ;) )
     
  13. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

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    You are getting old Sven :p (although what does that mean for me)
     
  14. Sneeuwpanter

    Sneeuwpanter Well-Known Member

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    When will the panda's be on display for the first time ? I'm in the neighborhood for the last two weeks of June.
     
  15. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

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    In their communication they announce that the pandas should arrive in sping and my understanding is that they should be there when the park opens the beginning of April, but again you never know anything can happen.
     
  16. forumbully

    forumbully Well-Known Member

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    that planning depends on the chinese.
    they'll be coming to inspect the facility this month.

    if all is approved, the animals can be here very quickly.
     
  17. ANyhuis

    ANyhuis Well-Known Member

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    I was at this zoo this past May and your assessment is close, though I didn't feel there was any "circus" atmosphere there, just an excellent zoo that does better than most in Europe at "theming". It is built on the grounds of a 500-year-old former Catholic abbey, so the original architecture is very interesting.

    Giant pandas will be an excellent addition to this zoo, as they already have a huge and beautiful Chinese garden, said to be the largest Chinese garden outside of China. The area includes a gorgeous Chinese restaurant, but only a few animals (including red pandas). So the giant pandas will round out this excellent area perfectly.

    I would agree with those saying Pairi Daiza is the best Belgian zoo for the giant pandas to go to. This zoo is definitely making great strides towards improving itself and building new exhibits, while the other Belgian zoos are mostly just renovating existing exhibits.
     
  18. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    I don't really see what that has to do with it being any better. For a zoo like Antwerp, compact and historic, rennovation will almost always be more likely than constructing brand new exhibits from scratch. It's the same with London Zoo, almost all recent developments have incorporated or rennovated existing structures. It's more sustainable too.
     
  19. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say Planckendael is just renovating existing exhibits, if you see what they built the past few years and what is planned for the coming year.

    But I agree that Pairi Daiza (when you think away the elephants) is by far the best Belgian zoo. Even a zoo like Hannover could learn a lot from the theming done here. But money does not seem to play a role in PD and that is quite visible :p
     
  20. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    Theming doesn't make a better zoo. I'm not opposed to it in principal but it doesn't float my boat so to speak.