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China loans two Giant Pandas to Britain

Last Updated: Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 16:13

Beijing: China, home to the world`s Giant Pandas, has loaned two of the endangered species to Scotland for a whopping USD 935,000 a year.

The eight-year-old pandas named `Tian Tian` and `Yang Guang` left China today on a specially chartered Boeing plane `FedEx Panda Express`.

"The specially chartered flight follows months of preparation and planning to ensure the pandas` travel is safe and comfortable at every stage of their journey," Gerald P. Leary, president of FedEx Express Europe, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Ahead of their trip, the pair was fed bamboo, favourite food of the Giant Pandas, at Chengdu airport.

The pandas are to stay for 10 years at Edinburgh Zoo, where they are expected to breed and give Scotland its first Panda cubs.

They will be given two weeks time to settle in after which they will be displayed to public.

Some animal welfare campaigners have criticised the zoo for accepting the pandas, saying it is a "primarily commercial deal", the report said.

After this five-year-long effort of Scotland bore fruits, Sweetie and Sunshine will become the first pandas to live in Britain in nearly two decades. Britain`s last giant panda lived in London Zoo until 1994, when it was returned to China.


First Published: Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 16:13
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