HONG KONG, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Five pre-historic Chinese sturgeons, presented by the Chinese mainland, made their first appearance in Hong Kong's Ocean Park Friday.
Known as "living fossil of fish" or "Giant Panda in the water", the Chinese sturgeons were presented to Ocean Park by the Chinese National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association. Ocean Park will be the world's first and only zoological facility to feature human-bred Chinese sturgeons living in sea water. Their arrival has also been timed to coincide with the upcoming Beijing Olympics, with the five Chinese sturgeons to symbolize the five Olympic rings.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony held Friday, Ocean Park's Chairman Allan Zeman said, Ocean Park is very honored to be presented with these precious gifts, which enable Ocean Park to forge new relationships with their counterparts in the Chinese mainland, facilitating greater cooperation and exchanges of knowledge regarding there animals.
"We also pledge to raise public awareness globally on the urgency of aquatic wildlife preservation," he said.
Li Yanliang, the chairman of the Chinese National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association said, the five Chinese sturgeons all belong to the first generation of Chinese sturgeons bred by the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences.
He said the Chinese sturgeon species, dating back to the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs still roamed the land, are found at the Yangtze River, the coastal regions of Qiantang and the Pearl River of China. China has been studying ways to breed and preserve the endangered species, classified as "China's Class One Protected Animals" since 1970s.
The Ocean Park also signed the Technical Agreement for Conservation of Chinese Sturgeons with the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences and the Beijing Aquarium, which sent two and three Chinese sturgeons respectively to the park.