Curious stares, shrieks of excitement, delightful smiles – those were some of the reactions panda mascots Kai Kai and Jia Jia got when they made their public appearances at CapitaMalls in August – their first foray outside the wildlife parks!
Just when panda fans thought it couldn’t get better, they were showered with lots of birthday treats during a Q&A; session. Hands shot up eagerly and children were seen jumping for a chance to answer the questions so that they could get hold of cute panda memorabilia.
What really tickled the crowd was a special dance performance by the duo. Shaking and wiggling to the thumping music, panda mascots Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s dance moves got the crowd cheering and clapping wildly, and they were challenged to remember the dance moves for a mini dance-off alongside the panda mascots.
Though there were many bloopers and two left feet, nothing could wipe off the smiles on the children’s faces as they giggled and grooved together with the adorable panda mascots. Five-year-old Sarah Mariel Martinez was elated to emerge as the winner and gushed, “They are really awesome! They are so adorable when they danced!”
Panda Party Alert!
All this hype was for two special reasons: September marks the one-year anniversary of giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia at the River Safari; and the duo celebrates their birthdays during this month, too. Jia Jia turns five on 3 September and Kai Kai turns six on 14 September. A big birthday surprise would be held for the two adorable pandas at River Safari!
“I am so happy to see the pandas today and even dance with them! I will tell my friends that it’s so fun!”said seven-year-old Isaac Ong
A week-long of celebratory events have been lined up from September 7 to 15, with activities such as free guided tour of the Giant Panda Forest, panda face painting and badge making. Visitors would get to discover interesting panda facts, and enjoy wild F&B; and retail specials.
Panda fans certainly have much to look forward to! In fact, some have already thought of their birthday wishes for the cuddly duo. “They are so cute! I wish that they will stay healthy and strong! Happy birthday to them!” said five-year-old Seraphina. Her mother, Apple Chin commented, “We ran here when we heard about the pandas’ appearance. This is very good for the kids as they gain knowledge about pandas.”
Another parent by the name of Jiahui cheekily wished Kai Kai and Jia Jia, “Hope that they will start a family!” With pandas’ reproductive maturity generally starting from the age of seven, that birthday wish might just be a wee bit too early!
All Geared Up for the Panda Party
And the countdown to the much-anticipated panda party begins! For the first time, River Safari invited the public to go behind the scenes with keepers to be ‘Panda Party Planners’. As the Presenting Sponsor and Conservation Donor of the ten-year Singapore-China Giant Panda Collaborative Programme, CapitaLand helped to recruit five party planners.
They would enjoy a priceless experience of what it would be like to be a panda keeper, learn more about panda care, visit River Safari’s bamboo nursery and Giant Panda Forest kitchen, plus assist in preparing a special birthday cake and enrichment toys for Kai Kai and Jia Jia.
With so much in place, Kai Kai and Jia Jia are certainly in for an awesome birthday treat and everyone will surely enjoy a panda-stic party ahead!