SHIRAHAMA, Japan, Feb 22 (NNN-NHK) – Eimei, a giant panda that has lived in Japan for 28 years, left western Japan’s Wakayama park, along with his twin daughters to fly back to China, this morning.
The 30-year-old male panda, along with his eight-year-old Japan-born twin daughters Ouhin and Touhin, has left their current home at the Adventure World, a theme park in the town of Shirahama, in Wakayama prefecture.
Later in the day, the three giant pandas were scheduled to take a flight from the Kansai International Airport to a facility in south-west China’s Sichuan province.
Prior to their departure, a farewell ceremony was held at the park, yesterday, where about 2,000 visitors said goodbye to the three pandas.
Eimei, or Yong Ming in Chinese, is a 30-year-old male panda and the oldest giant panda living in Japan. Coming from China in 1994, it is the father of 16 giant panda cubs born at the Adventure World, setting the world record for being the oldest giant panda to have successfully bred in captivity.
Last year, Eimei was appointed as a special envoy for Sino-Japan friendship.
Thanks to the friendly cooperation between the Adventure World and the research base of giant panda breeding, in China’s Sichuan province, Wakayama and Sichuan forged a prefecture-province friendship relationship in Jan, 2022, said Shuhei Kishimoto, governor of Wakayama prefecture.
Upon the pandas’ return, only four giant pandas will be living at the Adventure World in Japan.