SINGAPORE – Giant pandas Jia Jia and Kai Kai at River Wonders will be extending their stay in Singapore for five years till 2027.

The announcement on Friday came amid the pandas’ birthday celebrations this month.

Kai Kai and Jia Jia, who will turn 15 and 14, arrived in Singapore from China in 2012 under a 10-year loan from the Chinese authorities.

On Friday, Mandai Wildlife Group, which runs River Wonders, signed the Extension Agreement on Cooperation in Panda Conservation and Research with the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) at the Giant Panda Forest in River Wonders.

It was witnessed by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling, Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Sun Haiyan, Vice-Administrator of China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration Li Chunlian, and other officials.

Ms Low said in a speech: “Singapore-China relations continue to grow from strength to strength, and we are constantly exploring new possibilities for cooperation. This extension agreement will enable Mandai Wildlife Group and the CWCA to deepen their meaningful work on giant panda conservation, and is testament to the long-standing friendship between Singapore and China.”

Group chief executive of Mandai Wildlife Group Mike Barkley, who was also at the event, said: “Mandai Wildlife Group is delighted to deepen our partnership with China Wildlife Conservation Association and continue to contribute to conservation efforts for the giant panda species.

“We have journeyed with Kai Kai and Jia Jia for a decade, from when they first arrived to making their debut in the Giant Panda Forest exhibit to ensuring they are in good condition for each annual breeding season. We look forward to playing a part in their further growth and milestones.”