But you know that already. And you’ve probably seen some, if not all, of the photos in this post. Read on, anyway, this first-person account from someone (me) who is forever grateful for being allowed to be there.
I had flown ahead of Nuan Nuan to Dujiangyan panda base and waited for her arrival there that evening. But it turned out to be a long night from the time her plane touched down in Chengdu Shuangliu Airport to her arrival at the base. There was a delay and my thanks to Ms Zhao of Dujiangyan base publicity department for keeping me informed of the situation throughout.
The reason for the delay: Nuan Nuan was airsick on arrival. So she was kept at the airport for observation and declared okay to be sent to Dujiangyan panda base around 1:00 a.m., 15 November 2017.
Her journey to China had started at around 11:00 a.m., 14 November 2017, when her truck left for the airport back in Malaysia. She was inside the transport carrier for more than 12 hours when she finally walked into her room inside the quarantine building at around 4:00 a.m., 15 November 2017.
I was told by Dr Jessie Ho, one of the two vets on the flight with her, that she was fine during the flight. She stood up inside the carrier, walked around and ate wowotou and bamboo shoots. It was only on arrival after the carrier was unloaded and on the ground that the vets noticed she was lying very still. They offered her food which she refused.
After more than 12 hours inside the carrier, she was very tired and recovering from a slight bout of airsickness. On arrival in the quarantine area, she did not respond to Dr Ho’s call to walk into a smaller cage to be carried into the building. The Dujiangyan keepers tried various ways to get her to move and eventually allowed her to rest. Due to the late hour, we returned to our hotels, leaving the keepers to wait with her until she was ready to go into her room in the building. And thus her return to China was completed when she walked into the room. I wish I had been there to see her walk in, but as it is, I am grateful to be allowed to see her arrive in the quarantine area and to see her transport carrier unloaded from the truck.
Later the same morning, I saw Mr Ren, her quarantine keeper, whose face lit up when I asked about her. He said she was doing very well, and eating bamboo stems and leaves in her room. She has even left her room to explore her yard; I wonder if she hesitated before leaving her room to go into the yard? I am happy that Mr Ren is overseeing her quarantine period; he is a good friend I’ve known since my early trips to Bifengxia. He had accompanied Gong Zhu, my second adopted panda, when she was transferred to Ganzhou in February 2016, and also her cub Xian Xian when she was transferred to Dezhou earlier this year. Happy coincidence or God watching over Nuan Nuan and making sure she is in good hands during her quarantine? I think the latter.
I have no photos to share of her arrival, which I blame on my bad night photography skills. In lieu of my own photos, I share media photos taken by Dujiangyan’s publicity department (there were no media present at her arrival), as well as a photo of Nuan Nuan exploring her yard, taken by Dr Ho who, with Dr Naim, observed her during her second morning after arrival. She has recovered from being airsick and back to her usual eating and curious self.
Oh wait, there is also a photo here that is not from the media, of the Malaysian “contingent” posing in front of her welcome banner.
A curious Nuan Nuan exploring her yard and enjoying the natural light and air
Representing Malaysia at Nuan Nuan’s arrival in Dujiangyan panda base, from left: Dr Jessie Ho, vet, Zoo Negara Malaysia; Ms Beatrix Sim, Asst Director – Zoological Parks Division, Perhilitan (Department of Wildlife and National Park) Malaysia; YBhg. Dato’ Abdul Kadir bin Abu Hashim, Director-General, Perhilitan (Department of Wildlife and National Park) Malaysia; Dr Naim Ramli, Director, Zoology, Hospital & Veterinarian Services & Giant Panda Conservation Centre; and Chet, Feng Yi’s Malaysian adopter
Found a photo online of her sitting in the small cage