New pandas coming to Tokyo

13 Feb

Anytime zoos around the world have a パンダ (panda), it’s almost certainly being rented from China.

China doesn’t usually give pandas to other countries for free…but charges huge annual fees to cities that want the animal in their city zoo.

Many cities agree to this because having exotic animals such as pandas draws visitors to the zoo.

「上野動物園」 (Ueno Zoo) in Tokyo get their first panda from China in 1972 and has had at least one panda at the zoo since then…that is, until 2008 April 30 when the single panda that was there died.

That panda’s name was 「リンリン」 (Ling-Ling). He died at the age of 22 almost two years ago.
Click here to see the post I wrote about it.

Ling-Ling (R.I.P.) resting at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo a few years ago.

After Ling-Ling died, China asked Tokyo if they’d like to rent a replacement. The Tokyo Governor Ishihara said the fee was way too steep and the zoos in Tokyo don’t need pandas to attract visitors. So he declined.

But it seems that visitor attendance at 「上野動物園」 (Ueno Zoo) has seen a sharp decline since it’s been “panda-less”, and many Japanese people have expressed a wish for pandas to return to the zoo.

So the governor of Tokyo agreed to pay China an annual fee of nearly 8千5百万円 (¥85 million)…which equals US$950,000 for two pandas beginning next year.

So if you will be in Tokyo in 2011, you’ll be able to see pandas at 「上野動物園」 (Ueno Zoo).

By the way, if you like zoos…there are a number of very nice zoos in the Tokyo area. Ueno Zoo is conveniently located downtown…but it’s not the best zoo in Tokyo.

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9 Responses to “New pandas coming to Tokyo”

  1. tokyo5 February 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    As I wrote in this post above:

    …if you will be in Tokyo in 2011, you’ll be able to see pandas at 「上野動物園」 (Ueno Zoo).

    Well, the big day of the Pandas’ arrival has come. Tomorrow (2011 February 21) the two new Pandas from China will arrive at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.

    Tomorrow is a Monday though…and, like most zoos and museums in Japan, Ueno Zoo is closed on Mondays (unless it’s a Nat’l holiday).
    But the Pandas won’t make their debut for the Japanese public until sometime next month (March 2011).

    Like

  2. cuteandcurls February 15, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    I never knew that the Pandas are rented assets here unti today, I always thought they were given to the countries as an exchange of goodwill or something. I agree with pongrocks in some ways. Im not an environmentalist either but I simply find it bad taste to see animals like pandas being treated in that sense. Ok, fine if they are using those fees for the benefits of the Pandas, good to hear that. But dont you think these countries are doing China a favour too by promoting their country through their national animal? But then again what do I know? So dont anyone bite my head off for my opinion 😀 thanks.

    Ive never seen a panda before nor held one but I would love to do so one day when and if we go to China again, someday.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 15, 2010 at 1:18 am #

      I first learned that China charges annual fees for zoos to have a panda in 2008 when Ling-Ling died.

      I was surprised to hear it too.

      There are other types of animals in zoos besides pandas that are also endangered.
      I don’t think it’s really fair of China to charge rent…especially since other countries donate animals to their zoo for free…even with their claim that the money is used to protect the species—because one purpose of zoos is to try to protect endangered animals through breeding and other measures.

      Like

  3. Sir Pent February 13, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    No different than cattle, I suppose. It’s a commodity of their country.

    Still…it almost has the bad taste of being extortion doesn’t it?

    Like

    • pongrocks February 13, 2010 at 8:58 am #

      >>No different than cattle, I suppose. It’s a commodity of their country.

      I guess you’re right, I didn’t thought it through… However, my brain seems to think chicken wings and pandas are not quite on the same level… strange…

      Like

      • tokyo5 February 13, 2010 at 11:35 am #

        In China’s defense though, they claim the money they receive for renting out pandas is used for efforts to keep the animal from becoming extinct.

        Like

    • tokyo5 February 13, 2010 at 11:34 am #

      >it almost has the bad taste of being extortion doesn’t it?

      I think other countries should charge China rent for the animals that are in the Beijing Zoo.

      Like

  4. pongrocks February 13, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    I haven’t been at a zoo for ages, but I don’t like the way they deal with the pandas in this case… I mean, they are trading them like a piece of wood (an expensive one for sure). Don’t understand me wrong, I am not an environmentalist, but this just sounds so… cruel 😦

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 13, 2010 at 11:32 am #

      >I haven’t been at a zoo for ages

      Don’t you like zoos?
      I have kids, so when they were young we went to the zoos around Tokyo may times.
      We still go occasionally.

      >I don’t like the way they deal with the pandas in this case

      I think China is the only country that does this.
      Many zoos around the world have lions, giraffes, kangaroos, koalas, tigers, etc and I don’t think Africa, Australia or India are charging rent for them.

      Like

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