In 2012, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi were arriving, being expected and received like heads of state ! Our two giant pandas, treasures of the Middle Kingdom, were landing on the tarmac of Roissy and were welcomed by his Excellency the Ambassador of China and 150 journalists, after a straight travel from Chengdu, in a 777F Boeing especially chartered by FedEx. An out of the ordinary arrival for these very rare animals, threatened by extinction within nature and that will become the Stars of Beauval, under the touched gaze of the french people that will discover their passion for this so cute animal!
National Chinese Treasure, the panda is only entrusted to very few zoos in the world: 23 to be precise, outside China. To welcome pandas, negotiations are made at the highest level, everything is made between heads of state. The President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy at that time, made himself the request to his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, supported by the whole French diplomatic corps...For France, the reception of pandas on its soil represents the excellency of the relationships between the two states.
Meanwhile, Beauval was getting in touch with its Chinese counterparts: the panda base of Chengdu (breeding and conservation center for panda within the province of Sichuan, where the pandas are from) and the Chinese Association of Zoological Parks (CAZG). Veterinary exchanges, internships of several weeks on site for the future animal care technicians and responsibles of the pandas sector, meetings between the family Delors and the director of Chengdu, round-trips between the two continents: everything was made to show our drive to welcome this emblematic animal of Conservation. Beauval demonstrates its zoological excellency, its skills concerning the reproduction of rare and fragile species, the quality of its facilities and the one of its collaborators...
One year before the arrival the pandas, Beauval build a facility for them, that is a reference within the zoological world. Vast outside plots, inside and air-conditioned plots, night boxes, future nursery... everything is made for the wellness of these animals so endangered in their ecosystem. Our Chinese counterparts will come and visit the facility and declare it as “one of the most beautiful of the world...outside China”.... Beauval is really proud!
For the pleasure of the visitors, the hills of Loir-et-Cher are covered of pagodas with glazed tiles roofs, stone sculptures, and emblematic marble lions, stemming from the dexterity of the craftsmen of Shangaï and Beijing. A total immersion within the Middle Kingdom... but the pandas are not here yet!
December 2011: Rodolphe and Delphine Delors fly to China to sign the welcome protocol: reception at the France Embassy, exchanges around the protection of the giant panda, arrival date scheduled for January 2012.
FedEx therefore brings a great logistical and technical support: chartering of a 777F Boeing especially for Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, the FedEx Panda Express with the provision of its tarmac, welcome of the 150 journalists, and loan of two trucks to transport our precious plantigrades from Roissy to Beauval!
January 15th 2012: Rodolphe Delord landed with the two star animals on board of the FedEx Panda Express.
Departure for Beauval, accompanied by a police escort, where a jubilant crowd cheer the pandas on their way inside Saint Aignan sur Cher and on the outskirts of the zoo...without being able to see a bit of a panda ear that are reaching their private quarters, accompanied by two Chinese animal carers coming specially for them.
That is only in February that the doors of the “Heights of China” will open to the visitors that rush to see them... In 2012, Beauval will welcome one million people!
Chinese national treasure, international symbol of conservation, standard-bearer species of the threat that carries weight on biodiversity, pandas are a combination of all that. Through them, our voice is about the topics of biodiversity protection, the rarefaction of the natural milieus and the necessary preservation of our Planet. Touched by the beauty of this animal, our visitors hear our message.
Through our association Beauval Nature, we work directly on the field: more that 40 conservation programs are led, financed, supported every year. Some research and ethology programs are led. Africa, South America, Asia: the list of endangered species and headed for ruin milieus is spreading. Thanks to you, to your support through your sponsorship, we can act efficiently.