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China: Halt Planned Panda Transfer

China is planning to "loan" two baby pandas to Malaysia in an effort to boost diplomatic relations, even though Malaysia has many local endangered animals it is struggling to protect.

The construction of facilities for the pandas alone is estimated to cost as much as RM30 million, not to mention the ongoing costs of caring for the pandas and the announcement that government staff would need to be sent to China to learn about the animals' needs.

This plan is moving forward despite the fact that Malaysia has many local endangered animals who many believe are not currently receiving adequate protection, including the orangutan, the Sumatran rhino and the Malayan tapir. Recent concerns about the level of poaching and the threat to the Sumatran tiger also have led to calls for greater efforts by the Malaysian government to protect these native animals.

Pandas and other animals kept in zoos are relegated to a lifetime of boredom and abuse. Pandas in particular suffer in captivity. Although they are shy and shun human contact, captive pandas are besieged by a constant onslaught of visitors, and they are artificially and invasively bred. Most attempts to breed pandas in captivity have failed and have done little to propagate the species.

Loaning these animals to Malaysia for 10 years will do nothing to protect the endangered panda, and it will take sorely needed funds away from efforts to protect critically endangered Malaysian wildlife.

Please use the form below to send your own message to the Chinese government. Let officials know that pandas are not theirs to give away.

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