The same question was not asked when $8.6 million was spent to create a fancy climate controlled home for two pandas from China. Kai Kai , 5, and Jia Jia, 4, not exactly elderly citizens, are flying in from the Ya'an panda base in a specially fitted Singapore Airlines 747. The giant 1,500 square metres complex at River Safari, Mandai, will be scrupulously maintained at 18 to 22 degrees Celsius around the clock. To simulate their original natural habitat, lush live plants, boulders and water features, waterfalls with shallow pools, climbing structures and enrichment features are constructed so the pandas can rest, explore, climb and swim. The foreigners will also create new jobs, but their special keepers will be sourced from China.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan, who flew to China for the grand send off party, assured everybody the panda newcomers will be well looked after in Singapore, there will be no deficit of funds when it comes to pampering the new residents. There's even a special conservation programme to "adopt" the pandas for an annual contribution. Needless to say, the senior citizens at SAGE were never subjects of such adoption initiatives.
|Not exactly your average retirement home for senior citizens|