Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) Administration Committee Member Leong Kun Fong said yesterday that next year would be “ideal” for Hoi Hoi and Sam Sam – the two pandas residing in the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion in Coloane’s Seac Pai Van Park – to mate.
Sam Sam is Hoi Hoi’s “wife”.
According to The Macau Post Daily, Leong made the remarks at the Macau Jockey Club on the sidelines of a Chinese New Year horse race programme.
He said that the two pandas were currently living in separate areas in the pavilion in preparation for mating. He said the best time for a male panda to mate is when it reaches seven years old.
Both Hoi Hoi and Sam Sam are turning six this year. The two “national treasures” are presents of the central government.
“Although we have separated the two pandas, they know their partner is nearby as they can smell each other’s scent,” said Leong. “We have separated them because we want them to miss each other so we hope that when they meet again, they’ll quickly bond.”
Leong also said that the IACM was now arranging for staff who work in the pavilion to go to Sichuan to train how to get the two pandas to mate, commenting that the first attempt was not always successful and may require multiple attempts before Sam Sam gets pregnant.
He also said the staff would be trained to help Sam Sam when she gives birth and how to look after baby cubs.
Leong also said that the IACM was considering constructing a new panda pavilion, adding as more people move into the Seac Pai Van housing estates, more residents were expected visit Seac Pai Van Park regularly and, thus, the IACM had new plans for the park, as the bureau may gradually convert it from a country park into a more urban-style park.(macaunews)