2015-11-18 / Front Page

Everything But Pandas

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney expressed her delight and sincere gratitude to Mayor Bill de Blasio for his letter on November 17 supporting her efforts to bring a pair of giant pandas to reside in New York’s Bronx Zoo, provided that the effort is entirely privately funded. Previously, Governor Cuomo expressed similar support.

“New York City is the greatest city in the world. We are the global center of finance, publishing, communications, fashion and more. We have everything here – except for pandas. Recently, when the Smithsonian’s new baby panda Bei Bei took its first step in the Washington Zoo, the whole world tuned in to watch with wonder and excitement,” said Maloney. “Bringing giant pandas to New York City would attract attention and new visitors from around the world to witness the beauty and grace of these fabulous creatures. It would provide us with endless delight and incredible learning opportunities. It would be an incredible gift to the children of our city and beyond, and a chance to expand and deepen cultural understanding between our two countries. I am very happy that leading private citizens are already getting involved in the project.”

Maloney’s interest in pandas began when her two daughters became enchanted by them as young girls. Her effort to secure a pair of giant pandas began in earnest when she visited the giant panda research facility in Chengdu, China last year. Recently, the Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai indicated that the Chinese Wildlife authorities are now prepared to participate in “preliminary technical consultations” with New York City on giant panda cooperative research. China only allows the transfer of pandas to other countries if they agree to conduct scientific research into the survivability of the species.

Giant pandas are an endangered species, and worsening environmental conditions threaten their ability to survive. This research would be mutually beneficial for China and the United States, as it would advance efforts to protect this endangered species, boost tourism in New York City and strengthen cultural ties between our city and China.

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