Giant pandas arrive in Britain today

Giant pandas arrive in Britain todayPA


Two giant pandas will arrive at Edinburgh zoo today after a 26-hour journey from south-west China.

The giant pandas, the first in Britain for nearly 20 years, are called Tian Tian - which is translated at Sweetie - and Yang Guang (pictured), which translates as Sunshine.

The eight-year-old bears will be taken to their new £300,000 enclosures to recover from the trip and will be kept under a six-month quarantine, with keepers wearing protective suits and being trained in avoiding bites, amid concerns that they could be carrying rabies.

The pandas will be loaned to the zoo for ten years, following four years of negotiations with the Chinese government.

It is hoped that they will produce Britain's first panda cub.

Edinburgh zoo's computers crashed as soon as their arrival was announced last week.

A spokesperson said: "We have had tremendous interest and expect ticket sales to soar when the pandas are actually here."

Click on the image below to see the winners of the National Geographic Photography Award 2011...

12 PHOTOS
National Geographic 2011 Photography Contest
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Giant pandas arrive in Britain today

'Rufous humming bird takes a much need break on a pine tree, boasting his beautifully bright chest.'

'This image was taken in winter time in a arid area of the Canadian Rockies. Temperatures where below -30 degrees Celsius yet because there was no snow fall the surface of the lake was uncovered allowing me to see and capture the bubbles (gas release from lake bed) that were trapped in the frozen waters.'
 

Bonobo Portrait, Jacksonville Zoo, Florida.

'One morning while on the Big Island of Hawaii I explored my surroundings to see if I could find something to photograph. I almost went back inside when something on this huge palm tree leaf caught my eye. I stayed around and it was this little gecko, startled by my presence; he was hidden between the ridges of the leaf. He would pop his head up periodically to check his surroundings, as soon as he saw I was still there he would hide again. We played this game for a while until I got the shot.'

'A ‘joey’ (baby) Eastern Grey Kangaroo pokes a head out from its mother’s pouch. The baby kangaroo will continue to peek until if feels safe enough to emerge for short periods. After seven to 10 months it will leave the pouch for the last time.'

'Lynx (Lynx canadensis) flinches its ear at bothersome gnats in the late evening summer sun in Alaska.'

'Rare and endangered Australian Sea Lions (Neophoca cinerea) swim and play  in the shallows of Hopkins Island, South Australia.'

'Cage divers confront a great white shark.'

'An unexpected side-effect of the 2010 flooding in parts of Sindh, Pakistan, was that millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters; because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water took so long to recede, many trees became cocooned in spiders webs. People in the area had never seen this phenomenon before, but they also reported that there were less mosquitos than they would have expected, given the amount of standing water that was left. Not being bitten by mosquitos was one small blessing for people that had lost everything in the floods.'

'This image was captured to Sandbar, Grand Cayman during my last trip. This beautiful creature turn around you very close and you can touch it.This is a really amazing experience, you are surrounded by dozen of this friendly animal.'

'Curious hammerhead at dusk.'

'At safari, not only animals can attract attention.'

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