#世界看中国#20131102【蓬勃发展的中国大熊猫租借业务是如何运作的?】

#世界看中国#【蓬勃发展的中国大熊猫租借业务是如何运作的?】中国保留着全世界大熊猫的所有权,但会将大熊猫有选择性的租借给他国,一对大熊猫租借一年的费用通常是100万美元。在租借时,需要和对方签署交换协议,对动物园也有严格要求,协议达成后,大熊猫会乘坐飞机“头等舱”飞去目的地。

 

Pandas are a big business -- both for China and the zoos lucky enough to score a visitor. They can also be extremely expensive.

At last count in 2004, there were about 1,600 pandas alive in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Around 350 pandas live under human care at zoos or breeding centers globally, and roughly 50 of those bears are outside China.

Video: The Panda-nomics of China trade

China retains ownership of all the giant pandas around the world, which are selectively loaned to other countries. The fee for a pair is usually $1 million a year, with funds going toward conservation efforts in China. Rentals typically last for 10 years, with a renewal option.

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Caring for a panda can easily cost over $1 million a year, said Dave Towne, president of the Giant Panda Conservation Foundation for North America. Aside from trainers and medical care, pandas need to eat -- and they're fussy customers who eat a lot.

Scotland's two pandas chomp through nearly 40,000 pounds, or more than $100,000, of imported, organic bamboo a year. Hong Kong's pandas, on the other hand, are locavores, eating five different species of bamboo grown in Southern China. Bamboo shortages are also a risk: A few years ago, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. sought bamboo donations as it pandas had munched too quickly through their supply.

Pandas are only able to absorb 17% of the nutrients, and since they're quite heavy -- sometimes weighing 300 pounds -- they tend to sleep for 12 hours a day to conserve energy, said Suzanne Gendron, director of the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation in Hong Kong.

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Zoos are expected to make every effort to breed pandas. If newborn cubs live to about six months, centers are typically required to pay a $200,000 fee to China, Towne said. Because pandas are an endangered species, it's possible for countries or zoos that are very successful in breeding to negotiate a lower baby tax.

And once the cubs reach four years of age, they have to be returned to China.

But beware: If any of China's cuddly pandas die on your watch due to human error, be prepared to pay a $500,000 fine.

After an agreement buy online prescription viagra is settled, the pandas are flown to their destination with "first class treatment," sometimes on FedEx or UPS, said Towne. Singapore Airlines even operated a special flight to transport that country's pandas.

Takeoff and landing is carefully timed, depending on the season or the time of day, to ensure the furballs are comfortable.

Pandas prefer a cooler climate -- around 10 to 20 degrees Celsius -- as their natural habitat are bamboo forests in the mountains of western China, said Gendron.

Aside from a strategic and economic interest, countries must prove that they have the technical capacity to house and breed pandas and are committed to conservation. In the U.S., zoos must also receive approval from the Fish and Wildlife Service to import pandas by demonstrating that public display of the pandas won't interfere with scientific research.

Appropriate facilities and expertise don't come cheaply. Belgium's two pandas will soon arrive, and an $11 million panda home is currently under construction. In Hong Kong, special caretakers were even sent for training at panda research centers in China.

Conservation projects in partnership with China have included habitat restoration and the study of breeding techniques. Research collaborations are also looking at how to reintroduce pandas into the wild.

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Pandas have been loaned to various zoos around the world. There are fewer than 50 pandas in zoos outside of China including in the U.S., Scotland, Canada, Thailand, Austria, Mexico, Spain, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and soon Malaysia and Belgium.

As a species, they've met a whole host of world leaders and celebrities, including former U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, Queen Sofia of Spain, Shaquille O'Neal and Jackie Chan.

Since the exhibit opened in May, Toronto Zoo's pair of pandas have attracted more than 1 million visitors -- about what the zoo used to do over the course of an entire year.

 


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