The Giant Pandas on loan from China resides in Singapore River Safari, Asia's first river-themed park and the fourth and latest nature attraction presented by Wildlife Reserves Singapore. The two giant pandas, Kai Kai (凯凯) and Jia Jia (嘉嘉), are from Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base, a two-hour drive from Chengdu City in the Szechuan province of China.
Kai Kai, which means "victorious" in Chinese, was born on 14 September 2007. He is active, amiable and obedient. He loves to eat carrots and likes licking his paws. Kai Kai has an 'Onion Head' which is created by a small tuft of fur on his head.
Jia Jia, which symbolises beauty in Chinese, was born on 3 September 2008. She has a playful personality and is very affectionate. Jia Jia loves climbing trees and eating on-the-go; at times she even carries bamboos up a tree to munch.
Giant Pandas are the rarest members of the bear family and are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, which means that this bear is endangered. However, international conservation efforts to restore panda habitats such as creating forest reserves and captive breeding programmes help ensure the future survival of the Giant Panda population.
Diet of Giant Pandas
An adult panda requires about 20kg of fresh bamboo per day or 7,300 kg per annum. Apart from bamboo, the pandas' diet comprises of vegetables and specialised folivore biscuits.
In preparation for the arrival of the giant pandas to Singapore, Wildlife Reserves Singapore's (WRS) horticulture department has been planting and nurturing four different species of bamboo, three of which are native to the homeland of the giant pandas.
Habitat of Giant Pandas in Singapore
Visitors at the Singapore River Safari will be able to observe these bears up close in an environment very similar to that of their natural habitat. The giant panda exhibit – the largest in Southeast Asia - will be situated at the Yangtze River zone of River Safari, along with other endangered wildlife from China such as the giant salamander and red panda.
The exhibit comprises a climate-controlled enclosure of about 1,500m2. An energy-efficient water-chilled air-conditioned system is used to set the entire exhibit at a temperature between 18 to 22 degree Celsius and humidity levels are controlled at 50 to 60 percent year round. The habitat is naturally landscaped with a lush bamboo forest, shallow streams, trees and boulders for the animals to explore and play.