The Prague Zoo has received Taiwanese pangolins after falling out with China

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Prague – The Prague Zoo has introduced a pair of endangered Chinese pangolins to the public. It is the second zoo in Europe where animals are kept.

The arrival of the rare acquisition from Taiwan follows a political collapse with China that hindered the expected arrival of a pair of giant pandas.

Guo Bao, the male pangolin, and Run Hao Tang, the female, come from the Taipei Zoo, the main breeders of mammals who are widely hunted for their fiber and meat.

It is estimated that around 200,000 were trafficked in 2019 due to the scales used in traditional medicine in Asia and elsewhere.

A few years ago, the Czech capital hoped to acquire Panda in 2016 after signing a partnership agreement with the Chinese capital.

But those hopes were dashed just three years later when Prague decided to withdraw the sister-city deal with Beijing, a move that angered China.

Prague has taken this step after rejecting a request to remove a clause from the Beijing Agreement, stating that Prague supports the one-China policy, which does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation.

The Czech government recognizes the one-China policy, but officials in Prague say they want to focus on cultural cooperation, not politics.

Relations with China became even more strained in 2020 when Prague signed a similar sister-city agreement with Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, an agreement that also included cooperation between the two cities’ zoos.

Prague Mayor Zedekne Harib says cities respect democratic values, basic human rights and cultural freedoms and can therefore inspire each other.

Taiwan’s mainland was separated from mainland China in a civil war in 1949, but Beijing considered the self-governing island part of its territory.

The Chinese government has condemned the speaker of the upper house of the Czech parliament, Taipei, and ministers from the Taiwanese government who went to Prague.

Miroslav Bobek, director of the Prague Zoo, said he paid attention to the animals.

“Sometimes, comments are made about the arrival of pangolins that they are here instead of pandas,” Bobek said Thursday. “It simply came to our notice then. For us, they are angels of wild nature, angels of pangolins still living in the desert. Similarly, if we had giant pandas here, they would be a symbol of protection for endangered species. “

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