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Giant panda pair back to China from Britain

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-12-05 15:55

Yang Guang (left) and Tian Tian eat bamboo stalks in its enclosure, in Edinburgh, Britain, Nov 29, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

CHENGDU - Giant pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived in Southwest China's Sichuan province on Tuesday morning, after wrapping up their stay in Britain.

The pair touched down at the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at about 6:50 am, before being sent to the Bifengxia giant panda base in Ya'an for a month-long quarantine.

Yang Guang and Tian Tian, literally meaning Sunshine and Sweetie, arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in December 2011 on a 10-year loan, which was subsequently extended for an additional two years. As the sole pandas in Britain, they garnered significant attention, attracting a record number of visitors to the zoo.

They did not give birth to any cubs during their stay in Britain. There were several attempts to get Tian Tian pregnant but none of them were successful.

Before their departure, Edinburgh Zoo conducted training sessions to acclimate the pair to the upcoming journey. The zoo had also prepared fresh bamboo for the pandas as food during the flight.

According to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Chinese pandas living in 23 institutions in 19 foreign countries are generally in good health condition, and international collaboration in this respect has been fruitful.

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