KUALA LUMPUR • Over the past two years, Dr Mat Naim Ramli has been taking special care of his "daughter", even sleeping beside it in rather uncomfortable environments just so that it will not be restless.
But soon, the director of the Zoology, Veterinary and Giant Panda Conservation Centre, will be missing his "child" Nuan Nuan, the panda cub born in Malaysia.
Nuan Nuan will be flown to the Duijangyang panda base in Sichuan province in China on Nov 14 to be freed into its natural habitat.
"I'm very attached to Nuan Nuan as she needs to be cuddled until she falls asleep.
"Solitary animals like pandas are particularly sensitive in character and very sensitive to their surroundings," Dr Mat Naim told reporters at the farewell ceremony for Nuan Nuan at the Giant Panda Conservation Centre in Zoo Negara on Thursday.
"After her mother was separated from her, I took care of her at night. I am sure this won't be the last time I see her. I will visit her in China."
Nuan Nuan, which weighs 82kg, is the fastest naturally conceived panda baby in captivity, born within 15 months of its parents' arrival.
Nuan Nuan's parents, Xing Xing and Liang Liang, arrived in Malaysia in May 2014 to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.
The last day for the public to visit Nuan Nuan will be on Nov 12.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK