A big welcome to Huan Huan & Yuan Zi! The giant pandas are arriving at ZooParc de Beauval in France today on loan from Chengdu Panda Research Base.
Huan Huan (female) was born on August 10, 2008. Her mother is Qi Zhen and her father is Lin Lin. Huan Huan means ‘welcome’ or ‘great joy’. Yuan Zi (male) was born on September 6, 2008. His mother is Yuan Yuan and his father is Ping Ping. Yuan Zi means ‘the son of the one that has a round head!’ . Yuan Zi has the same father as Zoo Madrid’s female panda Hua Zui Ba. That makes them both 4 years old which means France can’t expect a baby panda until at least 2016 (when they both hit around 8 years old and become sexually mature).
One of our staff scientists, Meghan Martin, worked at Chengdu as an intern for the Smithsonian National Zoo in 2005. Of course these guys weren’t even born yet so we don’t have pics but we can share one of young Meghan with the 2005 babies!