The saga of the pandas at Beauval
Discover the full story of the pandas’ adventure since their arrival at Beauval in 2012!
Giant pandas at Beauval: the project’s origin
Impossible doesn’t exist at Beauval! This is what
motivated Françoise Delord and her children, Delphine and Rodolphe, to
undertake the crazy project of welcoming genuine Chinese “national treasures”, the giant pandas, to the
ZooParc. The road ahead was long and full of uncertainty. It was necessary
to elicit the involvement of the President of the French Republic and to
convince the Chinese authorities - all the way up to the very highest levels -
of the merits of the project, the ability of our teams to take care of the pandas
and participate in the conservation of the species by doing everything possible
to ensure that the pair reproduced. Five
years of negotiation, deliberation, and liaison ultimately proved successful! Trust
had been established. Beauval would be the next site, outside of China, to host
a pair of plantigrades from Chengdu. Huan
Huan and Yuan Zi were on their way…
January 15, 2012: the arrival of the giant pandas at Beauval
The big day had come. The “FedEx Panda Express”, a specially chartered Boeing 777 F decorated with the image of the pandas, landed on French soil with the animals, Rodolphe Delord, and Chinese keepers on board. They were greeted by His Excellency the Ambassador of China. The media were all crowded around, cameras flashing. Next it was on to Beauval, 250 km from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle. Close to the ZooParc, the excitement was palpable and the enthusiasm was at fever pitch. The inhabitants of Saint-Aignan-sur Cher and the ZooParc’s fans had come together to welcome and celebrate the arrival of Huan Huan and Yuan Zi. Joy and pride radiated from the faces of the crowd.
As for the stars of the day, they set about discovering the facility specially built for them and getting to know their keepers. After a few days of acclimatisation, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi explored their lightly snow-dusted exterior enclosures and settled down to eat vast quantities of bamboo.
August 4, 2017: The birth of Yuan Meng!
A few years after the arrival of Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, a much-anticipated, joyful event took place. Yuan Meng was born on August 4, 2017. This birth fulfilled the ambitions of both the French and Chinese teams because panda gestation is a complex and delicate process. Keep in mind that the male and female only come into contact with each other once a year, during the female’s hormonal peak, which lasts 24 to 48 hours. Yuan Meng’s birth was therefore celebrated worldwide by both specialists and the public alike. The media coverage was overwhelming. Intense pride and joy resonated throughout Beauval during the whole of that most extraordinary August, reminding the world that “the most beautiful sight is the one offered to us by nature” (Aristotle).
The giant panda: an international emblem of conservation
Since they arrived at the ZooParc de Beauval, the appeal of the pandas to the public has never waned. This species still fascinates as much as ever, no doubt thanks to its posture, its apparent nonchalance, and its substantial appetite. Through the panda, a deep awareness has been created about the urgency of the situation for certain species close to extinction and about the measures needed to support the preservation and reproduction of biodiversity. The light that is cast on the giant panda filters down onto all species that are considered endangered according to the IUCN’s various categories.
Huan Huan gave birth to 2 baby panda!
Almost 4 years after the birth of Yuan Meng, the first baby panda born in France, on August 4, 2017, panda twins were born on August 2!
After long hours of waiting, Huan Huan, the female gave birth to twins … they are two females! The first was born at 1:03, the second at 1:10. They are very bright, pink and plump. The first was recovered by Chinese health workers in Chengdu. It weighs 149 g. The second weighs 129 g.
We promise, we’ll give you news very soon from Huan Huan and his two little ones!
Et les noms des bébés panda géant sont…
Yuandudu et Huanlili ! Ce sont les noms officiels des bébés panda géant dévoilés par leur parrain et marraine Kylian Mbappé et Zhang Jiaqi le 18 novembre 2021, lors de la Cérémonie du Nom. Organisé environ 100 jours après la naissance des bébés, cet événement est une tradition en Chine et clôture la période délicate des premières semaines de vie. À présent, il va falloir progressivement dire « au revoir » à Fleur de Coton et Petite Neige et s’habituer à parler de Yuandudu et Huanlili !
Pour rappel : Yuandudu, Huanlili 圆嘟嘟、欢黎黎
C’est un mix avec le nom des parents Yuan Zi et Huan Huan ! Ils évoquent le souhait d’une croissance saine pour les bébés et symbolisent les liens profonds entre la Chine et la France.
Yuan Meng : départ pour la Chine…
Yuan Meng est parti en Chine, direction la base de reproduction de Chengdu afin d’assurer sa propre descendance. Le jeune panda, premier bébé né en France en août 2017, a donc quitté le territoire des Hauteurs de Chine. Son départ a suscité une vive émotion car il a émerveillé les visiteurs et les équipes de Beauval depuis sa naissance. Mais c’est une demi-surprise car il a toujours été prévu qu’il reparte un jour… Bon vent Yuan Meng !