Le Le, the cute and cuddly panda cub who was born in Singapore in 2021, is ready to embark on his next adventure: returning to China to join the conservation efforts of his endangered species.
The public will have a chance to bid him farewell at a special event on Nov. 20, before he goes into quarantine and departs for China in December.
Le Le is the offspring of Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the pair of giant pandas who arrived in Singapore in 2012 under a 10-year loan agreement with China, which was subsequently extended by another five years. The pandas are housed at the Pavilion Capital Giant Panda Forest exhibit at River Wonders, where they have been cared for by Mandai Wildlife Group and Chinese experts.
Le Le’s birth was a rare and precious occasion, as giant pandas are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. He was also the first panda cub born in Southeast Asia, making him a regional star. Since his birth, Le Le has charmed millions of visitors and fans with his playful antics and adorable expressions.
However, as part of the loan agreement, all panda cubs born outside China must be returned to their homeland when they reach two years old. This is to ensure that they can contribute to the genetic diversity and sustainability of the giant panda population under human care.
Le Le has been showing signs of growing independence from his mother Jia Jia, who has also been distancing herself from him. This is natural for giant pandas, who are solitary animals in the wild. To prepare them for their separation, the animal care team has been training Le Le to stay in a different den from Jia Jia, and feeding them separately. They will also take turns to be on display at the exhibit, with Le Le appearing from 10am to 2pm and Jia Jia from 2pm to 6pm.
“Since his birth in 2021, Le Le has captured not only our hearts, but also that of the entire nation and overseas visitors, giving us many joyful moments as we watched him grow. We celebrate that he will soon be checking off his biggest milestone yet when he goes to China,” Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Deputy CEO, Life Sciences & Operations and Chief Life Sciences Officer at Mandai Wildlife Group said.
Before Le Le leaves for China, he will undergo a series of vaccinations, health assessments and conditioning to ensure that he is fit and ready for his journey. He will also receive a special farewell event on Nov. 20, where visitors can see him for the last time at the exhibit and leave him messages of love and support.
To celebrate Le Le’s legacy and wish him well on his new adventure, River Wonders is offering a 40 percent discount off the 1 Adult and 1 Child admission bundle from Oct. 6 to 31.