S’pore Zoo In Talks To Keep Pandas Here Longer, Hopes For Another Successful Breeding

Singapore Zoo To Discuss Keeping Pandas For A Longer Period Of Time

The birth of Singapore’s new panda cub has delighted many. However, Kai Kai and Jia Jia may have to return to China soon as the duration of their loan is up.

According to The Straits Times (ST), Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is currently in talks with the Chinese authorities to keep the pandas at Singapore Zoo for a longer period of time. By doing so, WRS hopes for another successful breeding between Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

WRS hopes to keep pandas at Singapore Zoo longer

With the birth of a new giant panda cub in Singapore, talks are reportedly ongoing in hopes of extending Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s stay.


The discussion was mentioned during a media conference on Thursday (26 Aug) by WRS’ Deputy Chief Executive, Dr Cheng Wen-Haur. If the negotiation is successful, it would allow Dr Cheng’s team to plan another breeding season for the pandas, reported ST.

However, Dr Cheng did not mention how long the extension would be.

The next breeding system will be able to take place once Jia Jia’s first cub turns 2. At that age, the cub would be independent and ready to separate from its mother.

Panda cub born during the 7th breeding season in April

Singapore’s 2 giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia were first brought over from China in 2012. Though many were anticipating the birth of a new baby cub, it was only 9 years later that it was born.

In a press release, WRS shared that Kai Kai and Jia Jia entered their 7th breeding season in April this year. The success can be partly attributed to China’s Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP).

About 4 months later, a strong heartbeat was detected on 10 Aug and confirmed on 12 Aug.


Jia Jia gave birth to a panda cub on 14 Aug, which also happened to be the Chinese Valentine’s Day.

Image courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore 

Since giving birth, Jia Jia’s care team has been supporting her every step of the way. Electrolytes and glucose solution are constantly provided to keep her well hydrated.

Though Jia Jia may seem tired at times, WRS mentioned that she has since settled into an efficient routine of nursing her cub.

Some black markings have also appeared on the cub.

Image courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore 

As the panda cub grows bigger every day, here are some milestones that the public can look forward to.

Image courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore 

While Jia Jia is currently nursing the cub, Kai Kai is happily lounging around in River Safari’s Panda Forest eating his favourite bamboo.

Image courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore 

Gender of panda cub yet to be revealed

Since the cub has yet to separate from its mother, WRS has not conducted a medical examination for the baby. ST reported that WRS will allow Jia Jia to nurse the cub until a natural separation in about 4 to 6 weeks’ time.

The gender of the cub will only be revealed after its medical check-up, in which the community can give suggestions on what its name should be.

For those who are interested in seeing Jia Jia and the cub, WRS’s YouTube page will be hosting a Livestream at 4pm daily.


Hope the pandas will continue to thrive

Whatever the outcome of the talks may be, we hope Kai Kai, Jia Jia, and their cub will continue to thrive wherever they are.

If they do get to stay, maybe we can look forward to welcoming yet another panda cub in time to come.

Thank you to the vets and caretakers for looking after the pandas. We look forward to the little one hitting its milestones.

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Featured image courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore. 

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