Si Nian and Si Yun Yun “Leave Sichuan for Xiamen” and Enjoy a Comfortable Island Life


In April 2018, Si Nian and Si Yun Yun, a pair of giant panda twins of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding flew from Chengdu, Sichuan to Xiamen by the special plane for giant pandas of Xiamen Air, and lived in the Xiamen Lingling Animal Kingdom. The two brothers of the Si family have lived in their new home for a year so far. So, how are they now? Let’s have a look with the author.


The Xiamen Lingling Animal Kingdom has built a new terraced house for the Si family brothers, which covers a floor space of 3000m2 and a building area of 2000m2, allowing these two brothers to have their own activity and accommodation areas. The new building houses a treatment room, a feed storage room, a bamboo (bamboo shoot) cleaning room, a bamboo (bamboo shoot) preservation room and a monitoring room. The park is fully equipped with a rockery, a pool, a resting shelf, a slide, a hammock and other facilities to meet the living needs of the two brothers.


Aerial view of the Giant Panda House at the Xiamen Lingling Animal Kingdom


Entrance of the Giant Panda House at the Xiamen Lingling Animal Kingdom


Visitor’s passage of the indoor pavilion of the Giant Panda House at the Xiamen Lingling Animal Kingdom


A corner of the outdoor playground of the Giant Panda House at the Xiamen Lingling Animal Kingdom


Giant panda nurses of the Xiamen Lingling Animal Kingdom have also collected nicknames in Southern Fujian Dialect from the general Xiamen public for the two brothers. Si Nian, peaceful and quiet elder brother is named “Gu Zhui” in Southern Fujian Dialect (meaning: cute), while Si Yun Yun, active and playful younger brother is named “Gu Yi” in Southern Fujian Dialect (meaning: hospitable), corresponding to characters of the Si family brothers.


“Gu Zhui” and “Gu Yi”, nicknames of Si Nian and Si Yun Yun in Southern Fujian Dialect


Upon their arrival at the Xiamen Lingling Animal Kingdom, the Si family brothers were arranged to live together. They usually ate, walked, climbed trees, swam, played together and fought in jest or for fun. And now, they have grown into two young giant pandas and live in their own villas.


Si Nian was lively and cute when he was a baby, but now he is peaceful and quiet. He becomes a picky eater having an appetite for tender tips of bamboo shoots only when eating the same. Therefore, giant panda nurses would increase the amount of bamboo shoots provided on purpose to meet his food demand. Si Nian also grows to be a lot bigger. He completely inherits the giant pandas’ life secrets from his father Mei Lan, that is, eating slowly preserves the stomach, walking slowly preserves the body and slow-paced life prolongs the life-span. He eats and walks at a slow pace, hangs on the tree or lies down on the resting shelf or by the pool when he is free, being a “quiet and handsome panda boy”.


Si Nian: Peaceful and quiet


While the younger brother Si Yun Yun is more like his mother Si Yuan in appearance and personality. He is fond of food, active and playful, very naughty. “He shows special preference to swing". And he would break swings prepared by giant panda nurses for him. Si Yun Yun, a foodie, is bigger than Si Nian at present, and he is never a “mommy boy” who likes staying with his mom as he was.


Si Yun Yun: Enthusiastic, active and fond of eating food


In the morning, giant panda nurses prepare breakfast consisting of crisp and juicy bamboo shoots and sweet and delicious apples for each of the two brothers. Si Yun Yun, active younger brother comes to the exhibition area first and eats apples sitting by the resting shelf. When he starts eating bamboo shoots after finishing his apples, his elder brother Si Nian takes small steps and comes to the exhibition hall slowly through a small door. After a tour around the exhibition hall, he sits on the ground with an apple in his mouth and eats it slowly. At the same time, his younger brother Si Yun Yun has eaten and drunk to his satisfaction. He walks back and forth in the exhibition hall, or lies in a hammock playing with sacks, or sitting on a wooden fork of the resting shelf chewing a stake and lies down on the resting shelf closing his eyes for rest when he is tired. And finally he falls asleep! After eating up his apples, Si Nian climbs on the resting shelf to eat bamboo shoots. Eating and drinking to his satisfaction, Si Nian feels sleepy and slowly lies down on rail of the resting shelf and finally falls asleep.


Si Nian: Smelling and licking apples


Si Nian: This apple tastes delicious!


Si Nian: Eating bamboo shoots climbing on the resting shelf in a standing posture


Si Nian: Eating bamboo shoots lying on the resting shelf


Si Nian: Eating bamboo shoots sitting on the resting shelf and leaning against the rail


Si Nian: A light luxury handsome panda boy who eats tender tips of bamboo shoots only


Si Nian: When he is full, he feels sleepy and falls asleep lying on rail of the resting shelf


Si Yun Yun: He is chowing down on an apple.


Si Yun Yun: His eyes glint when he sees bamboo shoots


Si Yun Yun: It’s never difficult for a foodie to eat bamboo shoots, even though they are far from reach


Si Yun Yun: Today's bamboo shoots are crisp, juicy and delicious!


Si Yun Yun: That’s me, a panda boy with round head and bucket-like waist!


Si Yun Yun: He loves swing especially


Si Yun Yun: Climbing up and down after eating and drinking enough food helps digestion


Si Yun Yun: He is just gnawing stumps to grind teeth when he is free and at leisure


Si Yun Yun: It’s so boring! Let me just daydreaming!


Si Yun Yun: He feels sleepy and falls asleep lying on the resting shelf


In the afternoon, giant panda nurses prepare their favorite steamed corn breads for each of them, put in the food delivery site at the exhibition hall. The two brothers sleep for a long time before they smell the food in a daze. As before, Si Yun Yun opens his eyes first. He looks up at the food delivery site, just looks around and sniffs the air, and then he gets up quickly and walks towards the steamed corn breads with the smell of them. Finally, he picks up the breads, takes them in his arms and begins to swallow them sitting on the ground. Si Nian, failing to resist the temptation of food, also gets up and walks to pick up these breads and eats them slowly. The two brothers do not forget to lick off the residues that fall on their body after eating up the steamed corn breads. They even lick their claws that hold breads again and again.


With good care by giant panda nurse of the Xiamen Lingling Animal Kingdom, Si Nian and Si Yun Yun are gradually growing from two ignorant panda babies to two elegant panda boys. They are living a leisurely and comfortable island life!