Macau’s newly selected pair of pandas, 7-year-old male Yalin and 8-year old female Shurong, to be renamed Hoi Hoi and Sam Sam (in Cantonese), will arrive in the city on Thursday next week, according a statement from the office of Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi Fan yesterday.
Local government representatives including Chan flew to Chengdu at the end of last month to attend meetings to select a pair of pandas for Macau, according to the statement, pointing out that a group of five experts including Wang Gesheng and Zhang Wengping representing the Chengdu Panda Base arrived in Macau last week and inspected the panda pavilion in Coloane and the quarantine area.
The statement pointed out that the experts also listened to local staff about what they had done to prepare for the arrival of the new pair, pointing out that all the experts were satisfied with the carers and medical equipment and eventually confirmed that the pair will arrive on April 30.
The office also said in the statement that the male panda Yalin would be renamed Kai Kai (Hoi Hoi in Cantonese) while the female panda Shurong would be renamed Xin Xin (Sam Sam), pointing out that the names “Hoi Hoi” and “Sam Sam” were chosen by residents and fondly remembered thus the government decided to keep “Hoi Hoi” and “Sam Sam” as the new pair’s names.
“Hoi Hoi” and “Sam Sam” means happy when the characters are put together.
The office also said in the statement that the meaning of “Hoi Hoi” and “Sam Sam” was meant to extend the good wishes of the central government to local citizens and the happiness residents feel for being given the gift.
The office also said in the statement that after listening to the opinions of the experts, the government decided to return the original Hoi Hoi to the mainland to join a breeding plan.
The pandas live in a state-of-the-art pavilion in Coloane run by the IACM. (macaunews/macaupost)