An entourage representing the consulate general for the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles visited the giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo today, the first day of the Chinese New Year. The group, including Deputy Consul General Sun Weide, was greeted upon arrival by the president of the Zoological Society of San Diego, Frederick A. Frye, M.D., and the San Diego Zoo’s Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Myers, before visiting the five giant pandas currently living at the Zoo’s Giant Panda Research Center.
“It is our understanding that the Chinese New Year celebration is an important cultural event,” said Frye. “This is one of the first official duties I have had since I took on leadership for this organization, and I am honored to begin this role by welcoming one of our most important conservation partners for a ceremonial and enjoyable visit to the San Diego Zoo.”
A physician with a long history of community service for children, Frye began his term as president of the Zoological Society of San Diego in January 2010. The retired pediatric physician held leadership positions at Children’s Hospital, Sharp Hospital, and the pediatric divisions of the UCSD Medical Center before assuming a leadership role with the governing entity for the San Diego Zoo.
Children in the consulate group were presented with panda postcards and a traditional red envelope filled with candy coins by Frye and his wife. The entire group spent the remainder of the day visiting the pandas (including baby panda Yun Zi) and touring the Zoo.
The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats. The organization focuses on conservation and research work around the globe, educates millions of individuals a year about wildlife and maintains accredited horticultural, animal, library and photo collections. The Zoo also manages the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, which includes a 900-acre native species reserve, and the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.