Giant pandas enclosure almost complete after a year of construction
by Tan Qiuyi
Giant pandas Jia Jia and Kai Kai are arriving in exactly a week.
And their $8.6 million dollar home is almost complete, at Singapore's latest tourist destination, the River Safari.
When giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia move from China to Singapore next week, they can look forward to a lush and green new home - an enclosure about the size of 20 three-room HDB flats, complete with some 50 species of bamboo and other sub-tropical plants.
Temperature year-round in the enclosure is set at a cool 18 to 22 degrees Celsius.
The landscaping simulates the hilly terrain of the pandas' home in Sichuan Province.
While a mini waterfall and other water features stream into shallow bathing pools for the giant pandas.
Cham Tud Yinn, who led the design team at Wildlife Reserves Singapore, says the enclosure exceeds world standards for the pandas' comfort:
"We can only keep our fingers crossed but we're quite sure they will be happy with this, in terms of space, in terms of variety, in terms of the whole environment and feel of it."
Air-conditioning will no doubt bring in a hefty energy bill.
But the Wildlife Reserves Singapore says they're using a water-chilled cooling system that's energy-efficient.
The building also has double-cavity concrete walls for insulation.
A glass ceiling lets in natural light, but it's double glazed to keep the heat out.
The enclosure will also be home to a pair of red pandas, and three colourful golden pheasants.
Visitors can expect to see them all when the exhibit opens this December.
Claire Chiang, Chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore says they're proud to collaborate with China on panda conservation:
"It involves a strong sense of responsibility and heightened sense of prudence in every step of the way. We're excited, we're anxious, but we feel a sense of achievement."
The male and female panda pair are on loan to Singapore for ten years.
Apart from raising awareness on the endangered species, the River Safari has its hopes on a breeding programme for baby pandas.
MORE SINGAPORE NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
Despite being a land rich in agricultural resources, almost 30 percent of Ugandan crops never make it onto the shelves, because they are not... More Despite being a land rich in agricultural resources, almost 30 percent of Ugandan crops never make it onto the shelves, because they are not properly preserved. That's why a research centre at the University of Makarere is developing a new range of food products, to try and combat food wastage. Duration: 01:56
Date 4 hrs ago, Duration 1:56, Views 0