A working staff prepares to unload the cage carrying panda "Jiao Qing" from China at an airport of Berlin, capital of Germany, on June 24, 2017. A pair of pandas have arrived here Saturday, making German public able to visit the animal species again at home after five years. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)
BERLIN, June 24 (Xinhua) -- A pair of pandas have arrived here Saturday, making German public able to visit the animal species again at home after five years.
The male panda Jiao Qing, born in 2010, and the female one Meng Meng, born in 2013, came from the panda breeding and research base in Chengdu, southwest China.
The panda couple will stay in Berlin Zoo, the oldest one in Germany, for 15 years.
After a long trip by air accompanied by both Chinese and German vets, Jiao Qing and Meng Meng were greeted by Chinese Ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde and Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller.
"This year marks the 45 anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Germany. I wish that the pandas as the 'ambassador of friendship' would be adored by German people," Shi said while greeting the pandas at the airport.
"We are delighted that Berlin has gained another fantastic attraction with these bears," Mueller said.
Newly constructed "Panda Garden" in the zoo, covering nearly 5,500 square meters and costing nearly 10 million euros (11.2 million U.S. dollars), will be the two pandas' new home.
They will head to the Garden and take some days to rest. The zoo will host a grand greeting party for them next month before the public visit, according to Berlin Zoo.
It has been five years since the 34-year-old male panda Bao Bao died here in 2012.
Bao Bao had been sent by the Chinese government in 1980 as a national gift and kept in Berlin Zoo, along with a female one Tian Tian, who died in 1984.
Another female panda, Yan Yan, who died in 2007, arrived in the zoo in 1995.