Vancouver International Airport gets panda link

Lulu the infant panda lives a life of leisure at Chengdu Panda Base in China. -
Lulu the infant panda lives a life of leisure at Chengdu Panda Base in China.
— image credit:

It’s small, cute and has a constant hankering for bamboo. It’s also named after Richmond’s main island.

An infant panda bear 10,000 kilometres away in Chengdu, China has been given the name Lulu, after Vancouver Airport Authority adopted the black-and-white bear last Friday to celebrate Sichuan Airlines’ second anniversary at Vancouver International Airport.

The airport authority’s donation will help fund research and conservation programs at Chengdu Panda Base, a non-profit research and panda breeding facility where Lulu makes his home.

Social media users and airport staff chose the Lulu name, which means “precious jade” in Chinese, according to YVR.

“We’re excited to celebrate all-things-panda with our community and Sichuan Airlines, which two years ago chose YVR as its first and only entry point into North America: a testament to our position as a global gateway,” said CEO Craig Richmond, airport CEO, in a news release.

The panda bear adoption coincides with a panda festival at Richmond Night Market, which is offering a contest to win a family trip to visit Sichuan province and Chengdu Panda Base.

On June 22, 2012, the first direct flight linking North America and China’s interior province of Sichuan touched down at YVR, marking the start of a three-times-a-week service.

Sichuan province is home to 100 million people, approximately three times the population of Canada.

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