Giant pandas arrive in Britain today

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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."

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National Geographic 2011 Photography Contest

National Geographic 2011 Photography Contest