Tuesday, 22nd February 2011
In General Japan News,
Panda fever hits Japan
The arrival of two pandas at a Tokyo zoo has led to panda fever across the nation.
Ueno Zoo welcomed the male and female animals from China, with a special street-lined event.
It is hoped that the arrival of the five-year pandas could eventually play a key role in strengthening ties with China following nearly a year of territorial disputes between the two countries, as well as boosting the number of tourists visiting the zoo.
The pair, Bili and Xiannu, left their home in China's Sichuan province aboard a specially painted All Nippon Airlines jet decorated white with black spots.
According to Kyodo News, Bili is "a big eater and sporty, and enjoys tree climbing, while Xiannu is active and has an affable nature".
The animals will stay at Ueno Zoo, which was set up in 1882, for the next ten years at a cost of around $950,000 per year.
Written by Susan Ballion.
Related news stories:
Pandas at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo 'in mood for romance' (28th March 2012)
Japanese zoo hopes panda cubs are on the way (5th April 2012)
Red panda returned to Shizuoka Zoo after escape attempt (31st December 2015)
Expert in reproduction to help Ueno zoo panda give birth (19th June 2013)
Tragedy as baby panda dies (11th July 2012)