By now, you’ve probably read that Fu Wa and Feng Yi have new names. Fu Wa is Xing Xing (兴兴) and Feng Yi is Liang Liang (靓靓). The names were announced by our Prime Minister yesterday evening at the launch of the Giant Panda Conservation Centre in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Zoo Negara Malaysia. For the record, I will continue to call them Fu Wa and Feng Yi.
The Prime Minister and his wife later toured the Centre and visited Fu Wa and Feng Yi, accompanied by the Zoo’s president, Dato’ Sr Zaharin Md Arif, and deputy president, En Rosly @ Rahmat Ahmat Lana, and other guests.
I didn’t go along for the tour and visit; I’d visited Fu Wa and Feng Yi the day they came out of quarantine, exactly a month to the day since they arrived in Malaysia on 21 May 2014. It wasn’t a special private visit but an invitation to the Zoo’s giant panda preview for its staff and families, volunteers and sponsors.
My first visit with Fu Wa and Feng Yi in a month, and this was how they greeted me.
Feng Yi … zzz …
Fu Wa … zzz …
Oh dear, were they going to be asleep for the duration of my visit? Fortunately, they soon woke up and became quite active, seemingly posing for photos and looking back at the visitors even as they were being looked at. Bear in mind these two have been on exhibit before – first, at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics with six other cubs their age, and then, at their respective “outposts”, Fu Wa in Wenling and Feng Yi in Guilin. So they’re not shy of visitors at all.
Okay, yes, less talk, more photos to show you how endearing they were on their first day in front of a select audience on 21 June 2014.
What’s she looking at?
Ah, the visitors, for many of them, probably their first look at a panda in the “fur”
Wondering whether to heed keeper Yang’s (and mummy Chet’s) calls
to go over to where we were
Eventually, she strolled over to the platform and climbed all the way
to the second level of her wooden structure
Food in each hand; I always say if she can, she would hold food in her feet, too
Stomach satisfied, time for another nap to refresh for the next round of visitors
Fu Wa: Yes, Mr Laidback, that’s me
Malaysia’s own kungfu panda?
Leaning forward so visitors can get an even closer look?
Strike a cute pose …
Another way of looking at the visitors
Posing for yet another visitor