Fruit and ice cakes, as well as bamboo leaves, were given to Lin Ping amid a lively and warm atmosphere at the event attended by Wisit Wichasil, Deputy Director of The Zoological Park Organisation of Thailand, Thanapat Pongpamorn, as well as about 500 visitors.
He said under the contract between the two countries, Lin Ping will stay in Thailand for one more year before returning to China.
Regarding Thailand’s request to seek approval from China to allow a further three-year stay for Lin Ping, he said there was no confirmation yet, including negotiations to seek extension for Lin Ping parents –Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui. The panda couple is due to return home to China in October 2013 when the ten-year loan expires.
Lin Ping was born to Lin Hui and Xuang Xuang on May 27, 2009 at Chiang Mai Zoo through Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT).
Her name which means ‘Forest of Ice’ in Chinese was chosen after a nationwide name selection contest that attracted about 22 million votes. “Ping” also sounds similar to the Thai pronunciation of Ping River which flows through northern Thailand near where the zoo is located.
The panda family is estimated to help boost an extra income of 25 million baht (about US$790,000) each year.