Panda pair in good health, heading for Singapore

The pair of giant pandas scheduled for Singapore was declared to be in good health by vets as the final checkups were completed on Tuesday.

A thorough checkup was conducted on two giant pandas named Wujie and Hubao by veterinarians with China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) of Wolong, in southwest China's Sichuan province and vets from Singapore.

"We can see that the wear condition of Wuji's teeth is at normal level for his age, his fur is smooth, and his subcutaneous fat is moderate. He is in a good nutrition condition but not overweight," said Wang Chengdong, vet and official with CCRCGP.

The pandas will leave for Singapore on September 6, on a ten-year lease.

The male panda Wujie, known as Kai Kai in Singapore, is five years old and weighs 111 kilograms. The female, Hubao, named Jia Jia in Singapore, is a year younger but weighs the same.

Two Chinese feeders will accompany Wujie and Hubao to Singapore and look after them until they are accustomed to their new home.

"We have made a lot of preparation to get everything ready for the pair. It seems that Wujie is quite carefree now. He does not know what is going to happen to him and he eats and sleeps well, he is in a good condition," Liu added.

The pandas will move to a 1,600-square-meter park in River Safari, run by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore. The lease is aimed to raise public awareness on wildlife conservation, and develop a breeding program for endangered animals.

The bamboo-eating giant pandas are native only to the mountains in southwest China, particularly Sichuan. The endangered animals, due to low fertility rate, are widely considered an emblem of China. In recent years, China has been active in leasing pandas to other countries as a form of goodwill.

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