When the Spanish King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia visited China in 1978, the Chinese government presented a pair of giant pandas “Qiang Qiang” and “Shao Shao”. They became the first Chinese pandas to arrive in Spain.

In 1982, the offspring of Qiang Qiang and Shao Shao, Zhu Lin, became the first giant panda in Europe to be born by artificial insemination in a captive environment, and rapidly became a star in Spain. 

When “Zhu Lin” met the public for the first time, the number of visitors to the Madrid Zoo had reached a historical high.

pandas in Spain

“Zhu Lin” lived in Madrid until his death in 1996. At the time, with the support of Queen Sofia, children from all over Spain donated their pocket money and erected a bronze statue of the giant panda that had been living Spain for nearly 14 years. 

Its remains were made into specimens and displayed in the Spanish National Museum of Natural Science.

  On September 8, 2007, 11 years after the death of “Zhu Lin”, the giant panda “Bin Xing” and “Hua Zui Ba” took a special plane to the Spanish capital, Madrid.

pandas in Spain

On September 7, 2010, through artificial insemination, “Hua Zui Ba” successfully gave birth to a pair of twin brothers.

They are also the second and third baby pandas born and living in Spain, one named “De De”, taken from the second Chinese word of “Ma De Li” (Chinese Pinyin for “Madrid), the other one is “A Bao”, taken from the movie “Kung Fu Panda“. 

They have very different personalities. “De De” is cute and obedient and it spends most of the time sleeping, and “A Bao” is slightly more active.

On May 18, 2013, the brothers returned to their hometown in China from Spain, and settle in the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base.