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Malaysia: Panda-lovers bid farewell to Yi Yi and Sheng Yi at Kuala Lumpur zoo before heading back to China

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Yi Yi and Sheng Yi pandas bid farewell to their adoring fans, but not before stealing a few last-minute selfies and snagging some free souvenirs from their fans at Negara Zoo in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. The pandas will return to Shanghai, China, as part of a conservation effort and to facilitate their socialisation and breeding with other pandas.

Before their departure, visitors gathered at the zoo to watch the pandas eat bamboo and rest. Many devoted fans could be seen at the gates, bidding a heartfelt farewell to the beloved animals.

Yi Yi and Sheng Yi are descendants of Fu Wa and Feng Yi, who were loaned to Malaysia in 2014 as a symbol of the strong diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China. The pandas were originally scheduled to be sent back in 2020, but their repatriation had to be delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

« I hope the pandas will be more fertile because they will arrive safely in their homeland, » expressed Rosly Rahmat Ahmat Lana, the Vice President of Negara Malaysia Zoo.

While the zoo officials and visitors have mixed emotions about the pandas’ departure, they understand the importance of their return to China. Visitors, like Izai Idali, expressed their sadness but also anticipation to see the pandas in China

.

« Our feelings are very mixed and very sad, and at first we had hoped they would be here longer. But we understand that we cannot meet them here. We will see them Yi Yi, Sheng Yi and also Nuan Nuan there (China), » said Idali.

Overall, the farewell celebration highlighted the significance of panda conservation and the efforts to ensure the well-being and breeding success of these beloved animals.

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