As an old Chinese saying goes,
« It is not the aim of the stroll that is important but the little steps that lead to ite ».
The birth of a panda cub is always a great source of joy. It rewards the efforts of all for the species preservation. The giant panda is now classified as a “vulnerable” species. The way to succeed is full of hope, doubts and above all great moments of emotion, when the happy event finally arrives.
With one mating period a year and a female only receptive during 24 to 48 hours, births among pandas are very rare. With proven experience from the last years, Beauval settled a team fully dedicated to Huan Huan and Yuan Zi. Together, they form the « PANDA TEAM »!
Step by step, all our experts are already in action. Daily, hour by hour: they pamper our pair of giant pandas and make sure to respect the nature and well-being of our animals. The beautiful and great saga of our pandas in Beauval continues in 2017.
Discover all the members of the « PANDAS TEAM » !
Born on September 6th 2008, at the Chengdu base in China, it has the same age as Huan Huan. Yuan Zi, our male panda, is “the son of the one with a rounded head”. His mother was indeed named Yuan Yuan because her head was very “yuan”, meaning very “round”, and Zi means “son” in Chinese. Yuan Zi, aptly named, is constantly photographed. Very nice to his keepers and jovial, Yuan Zi eats 30 to 40kg of bamboo daily!
Huan Huan was born on August 10th, 2018, at the Chengdu base in China. In allusion to the Olympic Games of Beijing, among the cubs of the Giant Panda Breeding Center, 5 were named: Bei Bei, Jing Jing, Huan Huan, Ying Ying and Ni Ni, according to the welcome sentence of the OG: “Bei Jing Huan Ying NI”, which means “Beijing is happy to welcome you”. Huan Huan is one of those 5 cubs, and her name means “welcome” and “great joy”. Huan Huan, our female panda, is a great star! Used to cameras, she delights the young and the old, at Beauval and on screen!
Animal lover since his earliest childhood, Rodolphe decided to quit school at 16 in order to join his mother and support her into the Beauval adventure. As a builder, Rodolphe works to extend the site with the aim of welcoming a great diversity of animal species. He is also president of the Beauval Nature association as well as the French Association of The Zoological Parks .
The birth of a panda at ZooParc de Beauval would be a strong symbol. It would be a great reward for the huge work undertaken with our Chinese partners on the preservation of the species. It would be a great joy for us and our teams and of course for our visitors themselves who are waiting for this birth too!
Former zoological manager at the Lisbon Zoo, Eric is since 2008 in charge of the animal collection management at the ZooParc de Beauval. As Conservation Director for the Beauval Nature association, he works on numerous conservation programs all around the world, including for pandas.
The birth of panda cubs in Beauval would be the consequence of a program which begun in 2005 and will contribute to the species conservation. Every birth embodies hope to preserve for future generations this unique animal, an international symbol of the conservation movement.
National Veterinarian School of Alfort graduate, Baptiste joined the Beauval adventure in 2004. He manages the veterinarian sector since 2014. Research Director of the Beauval Nature association, he is also a European consultant veterinarian for the Queensland koala international breeding program and the Persian leopard European Endangered species Program (EEP).
The dosages carried out during the female panda’s reproductive period are still extremely rare in the world but bring new knowledge to determine precisely if there were fertilization then implantation. This year, comparisons with all 2016 data will be a valuable asset.
Since 2014, Antoine practices as a veterinarian at the ZooParc de Beauval. He is a National Veterinarian School of Alfort graduate. He is also European consultant veterinarian for the European black lemur and greater kudu European Endangered species Program (EEP). Antoine ensures the mission of secretary for the French Speaking Veterinarians in Zoological Parks Association.
It’s such a chance to work with this species, only housed by 5 zoological institutions in Europe! Panda births are extremely rare and leave their mark on a veterinarian career.
In 2002, Delphine entered the animal service within the sector of the sea lion show and the big cats. After several months in the koala sector, she became responsible for it. Delphine nowadays manages a team of 7 people that take care of a diversity of species including the pair of pandas.
Everyday our animals surprise us. We learn a lot from them! With the pandas, we are proud to participate in the conservation project of this vulnerable species.
After 3 years of medicine school and a bachelor degree in biology of ecology and evolution of the populations, Astrid headed towards the animal world. Graduated from the carers school of Vendôme, she started in 2010 at the koalas sector of Beauval. She became the assistant of Delphine in 2013.
I like working with the pandas because it is a complex animal that we barely know for yet. It is motivating to share with fellow carers from other European zoological parks, always in order to improve the everyday life of the animals and particularly of this endangered species.
A native of the Chinese province of Hubei, Harry is since 2008 researcher in breeding and nutrition at the famous « Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding ». Every year, he follows the reproduction period of the 30 female pandas of the centre. He steps in at Beauval to bring his expertise and precious advice to the Panda Team.
I think that the behavior of Huan Huan is very good and the interaction with Yuan Zi is good. In my work, it is necessary to be precise because the female panda is fertile only a few hours every year.
Sophie is a student in second year of Master Degree of Applied Ethology at the University of Paris 13. For her university thesis, she studies the behaviour of Huan Huan during her reproduction and gestation period. Sophie spends her days registering the smallest deeds and actions of the pandas.
I am very proud to participate in the research about panda reproduction, it’s a real privilege! Huan Huan’s behaviour is encouraging. Yuan Zi, as for him, looks like he’s starting to lose patience. We cross our fingers to make it work this year!