New programme lets visitors go behind the scenes to see pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia

Panda lovers can soon go behind the scenes to see how giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia are taken care of and even help prepare their breakfast. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Panda lovers can soon go behind the scenes to see how giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia are taken care of and even help prepare their breakfast. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Panda lovers can soon go behind the scenes to see how giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia are taken care of and even help prepare their breakfast. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Panda lovers can soon go behind the scenes to see how giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia are taken care of and even help prepare their breakfast. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Panda lovers can soon go behind the scenes to see how giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia are taken care of and even help prepare their breakfast. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Panda lovers can soon go behind the scenes to see how giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia are taken care of and even help prepare their breakfast. -- ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Panda lovers can soon go behind the scenes to see how giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia are taken care of and even help prepare their breakfast.

The River Safari has launched a programme that lets visitors enter the wildlife park before its opening hours and observe the pandas during their morning routine of physical checks, weighing and target training in their dens.

Visitors can also take part in activities including helping the keepers prepare the bears' pre-morning snack, bamboo breakfast and enrichment toys during the 1.5 hour learning journey. The programme ends with a guided tour of the panda exhibit and breakfast at Mama Panda Kitchen, a panda-themed restaurant in the park.

Dubbed the Panda Rise & Shine, the programme costs $350 per person, inclusive of admission to the wildlife park, a T-shirt, goodie bag and professionally-taken photographs. Each tour, which takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays, is limited to a maximum of six people and is suitable for those aged above seven. Participants aged below 13 must be accompanied by a paying adult. The first tour starts on Sept 9.

"This programme allows participants to witness the special bond between keepers and pandas, as well as an opportunity to understand how we take care of this endangered species," said Wildlife Reserves Singapore's director of education Lok May Kuen. "We hope that participants will leave with a greater appreciation not just for giant pandas but all threatened wildlife."

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