Saturday, May 21 2022

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park kicked off its first Chinese New Year celebration in its 50-year history on Saturday.

During the two-day celebration of the Year of the Tiger, a Chinese zodiac animal, guests can experience activities such as Chinese New Year good fortune, Asian-inspired dishes, captivating experiences with wildlife protection and cute animals in the park.

Guests are also invited to tie red ribbons written with their wishes to the trees in the park’s Tiger Trail and will receive red envelopes and small gifts from the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, including souvenirs from the Winter Olympics of Beijing.

Located in the city of Escondido in the US state of California, the 1,800-acre wildlife park, home to more than 3,600 animals representing more than 300 species, welcomes over one million visitors each year. A Chinese New Year celebration is also held at its sister park, the San Diego Zoo.

Sending greetings to those celebrating the arrival of the Chinese New Year, Paul Baribault, president and CEO of the parks operator San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, said at the launch ceremony that the wishing trees will be planted at Tiger Trail and “marked with a commemorative plaque honoring this day and our longstanding friendship with our Chinese conservation partners.”

“May these trees tell a story of our collective power to create positive change, forge lasting friendships and recognize the beauty of our world’s diversity,” he said.

Baribault hailed the joint efforts of the alliance and its Chinese partners to contribute to the breeding and protection of giant pandas.

In 1996, a female panda named Bai Yun, which means white cloud in Chinese, arrived at the San Diego Zoo and quickly gained popularity. In 2019, she and her sixth baby Xiao Liwu, which means a small gift in Chinese, returned to China.

Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles Zhang Ping, who also attended the launch ceremony, thanked the alliance for hosting the Chinese New Year celebration, saying it allows the public to experience the strength and vitality of real tigers and better understand the symbolic meaning of the Year of the Tiger.

“As the motto of the Beijing Winter Olympics says, ‘Together for a Shared Future’, we hope our two peoples will come together and work together to build a better future for the world,” he added. .

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