CHIANG MAI, 25 August 2014 - The Chiang Mai Zoo is awaiting a decision from its executives on the bringing back of Thailand-born giant panda “Lin Ping” following the Chinese government’s approval of its 15-year stay in the country, at a very high cost.
Assistant Director of the Zoological Park Organization, Boripat Siriaroonrat, in his capacity as the leader of the giant panda research project in Thailand, said that Lin Ping, a superstar female panda born in Thailand in 2009 who was sent back to China in 2013 to mate, is now a full grown giant panda.
Lin Ping was born to a couple of giant pandas, Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, who have been lent to Thailand by the Chinese government since 2003.
Mr. Boripat said that the young and famous giant panda has also adapted herself well in China even though she has been more familiar with Thai language and environment.
Almost a year since the Chinese government had her back for the mating season, which usually runs between February and May, Lin Ping has not found her mate yet.
China has earlier agreed to allow Lin Ping to return with her mate to Thailand after the mission is completed. But so far, her return is still unconfirmed.
Mr. Boripat said that the final decision on the superstar giant panda’s fate is up to the executives of the Zoological Park Organization and the Natural Resources Ministry.
The Chinese government has set a condition that Lin Ping will be able to stay in Thailand for the second time for a duration of 15 years for an annual charge of $1 million or over 30 million baht per panda per year.
With two pandas to be sent in, Thailand will be paying a whopping $30 million or over 900 million baht for Lin Ping and her mate. Therefore, it remains to be seen how the Zoological Park Organization executives will decide, considering the large amount of fee the country will have to fork out.