Press Release

Giant Pandas wave goodbye to China and fly towards a Spanish welcome - Star of Ice and Cuty Lips up for a long, comfortable journey

Publish Date : 7 September 2007 at 14:00 CET - Amsterdam, It was a big moment for the two giant panda bears when they left their home turf today onboard a TNT-truck for a journey around the globe to their new home in Madrid Zoo in Spain. Both Bing Xing, 'Star of Ice' and Hua Zuiba, 'Cuty Lips' have started their 2-day journey after an emotional farewell ceremony at the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding to Chengdu airport. From here their journey will go to Shanghai and then directly through to Madrid leaving their place of birth for a 10-year stay which is a part of the Giant Panda International Conservation Cooperation Project between Spain and China.

Upon their arrival in Shanghai, the pandas will immediately be invited into a large air-conditioned vehicle for a night of rest, during which they will be closely monitored by veterinarians. In the morning, the pandas will board TNT's Boeing 747 freighter for their direct flight to Madrid this morning, which will take nearly 14 hours. Bing Xing and Hua Zuiba will land in Madrid at around 14:40 p.m. to the cheers and welcomes of the Spanish people. They will then be transported by TNT to the Madrid Zoo. After a brief break to help them acclimatize to the local environment, they will make their official debut with a royal welcome in late September 2007.

'The transport of alive animals requires a very complex logistical operation', comments Jesús Fernández Morán, Technical Director of the Madrid Zoo (part of the Parques Reunidos Group). “We knew TNT's Special Services department from earlier collaborations and we were convinced of their capacity to offer an integral solution for this type of operation”.

Gonzalo Chico Barbier, Country Manager for TNT in Spain, adds: 'We are very proud to have been selected by the Parques Reunidos Group to carry out the organization of this transport that is exceptional, because of the demanding transit times, allowing continuous access for veterinarian experts and obviously because of the subject of transport. TNT is used to add value to the business of our clients, independent of the sector or activity to which they dedicate themselves.'

Video News Releases

The journey of the two panda bears will be captured on video and edited and VNR distributed by Reuters Television and made available on the Newsmarket in the weekend of 8 and 9 September.

On Saturday 8 September a video release will be VNR distributed introducing Bing Xing and Hua Zuiba and capturing the preparations at the Chengdu Panda base, the farewell ceremony and the actual transportation to Chengdu and Shanghai. The VNR feed will distributed via Reuters WNS service between 11.30 and 11.40 GMT. The Newsmarket will have the footage available from 13.00 GMT on .

Also on Saturday 8 September a second video release will be VNR distributed covering their entire journey adding their arrival in Madrid. The VNR feed will distributed via Reuters WNS service between 21.05 and 21.15 GMT. The Newsmarket will have the footage available from 23.00 GMT on .

Please notice the need to pre-register for the services of The Newsmarket. Please take some time and click on the link above and register.

Giant Panda Profiles

Male giant panda 'Bing Xing': Seven years old, 140kg. He is a good state of health and growth. Sexually mature and ready for breeding. Bing Xing weighs the most of all the pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. He is good tempered, cute, and loves playing and climbing.

Female giant panda 'Hua Zuiba': Four years old, 93kg. She is in a good state of health and growth. Her first ovulation took place this year, but she has not yet mated. She loves playing with other giant pandas.

Currently, the panda bears are in danger of complete extinction. Only 1,600 Panda bears are still living in freedom in China and 140 in different Zoos. The latter are the result of a special program that studies the reproduction in captivity of these animals in order to avoid their extinction. The Chinese Government supports these programs within China, since historically China has been the only country where reproduction in captivity has been successful. Nowadays, only seven countries have received pandas and of those only four succeeded in reproducing them in captivity, among which the Madrid Zoo.

More details and some pictures of the panda's can be found on the website

About TNT's express division
TNT's express division is one of the world's leading business to business express delivery services providers. It delivers 4.1 million parcels, documents and pieces of freight a week to over 200 countries using its network of over 1,200 depots, hubs and sortation centres. The division operates over 23,400 road vehicles and 44 aircraft and has the biggest door-to-door air and road express delivery infrastructure in Europe.

TNT's express division employs over 74,000 staff worldwide. It is the first organisation to have achieved global recognition as an Investor in People. The division reported revenue of €6.01 billion in 2006. The operating income was €580 million, up 21.8 % compared to 2005. Visit the TNT express division online:

TNT provides businesses and consumers worldwide with an extensive range of services for their mail and express delivery needs. Headquartered in the Netherlands, TNT offers efficient network infrastructures in Europe and Asia and is expanding operations worldwide to maximize its network performance. TNT serves more than 200 countries and employs around 159,000 people. Over 2006, TNT reported €10.1 billion in revenues and an operating income of €1,276 million. TNT N.V. is publicly listed on the stock exchange of Amsterdam. TNT recognizes its social responsibility, and has formed partnerships with the United Nations World Food Programme and the United Nations Environmental Programme to fight hunger and pollution in the world.

Reuters Television

Reuters Television News, world's leading news agency, has a dedicated rolling 24 hour news service, known as "World News Service". WNS provides a wide range of video material from raw news footage to live exclusive reports on what's moving the world's financial markets, to breaking news stories.

Every video story is accompanied by detailed shot-lists, scripts and then packaged for distribution. WNS has a global reach with over 569 broadcasters (plus over one thousand channels and affiliates) in 111 countries subscribing to this service. Although WNS is the core television product it can be supplemented with specialist feeds such as video news releases.

The distribution is received by Reuters subscribers via dedicated satellites circuits. The subscribers would be alerted to the upcoming VNR via a slate on WNS that is shown between the feeds, stating the title, date and time that the VNR will be aired. We also send an advisory to Reuters subscribers on our wire system with the details of the VNR, of when it would be aired, and to expect a full script later.

The Newsmarket
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Page publication date: 7 September 2007 at 14:00 CET