1st LD: Giant pandas return to China after years in U.S.

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-16 23:24:54|Editor: huaxia
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CHENGDU, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Two giant pandas have returned to China after staying in the United States for years.

Twenty-seven-year-old female giant panda Bai Yun and her son, six-year-old Xiao Liwu, arrived in southwest China's Sichuan Province Thursday after the San Diego Zoo's conservation loan agreement with China ended.

As the first panda on loan, Bai Yun arrived at the San Diego Zoo in 1996. The cuddly panda soon became an iconic image of the zoo and one of the most popular animals. The name of her son, Xiao Liwu, means Little Gift.

On Thursday morning, the pandas arrived at the Dujiangyan Base of the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas. Experts examined the pandas and said the chubby bears' conditions were good.

"They will be under quarantine for a month to help them adapt to the conditions in China," said Zou Wenyong, with the center.

A welcoming ceremony was held at the base at 3:30 p.m. Zhang Haiqing, deputy director of the center, presented an award to the San Diego Zoo for its protection of the pandas, while Shawn Dixon, with the San Diego Zoo, dedicated a book featuring joint research efforts to the center.

Last month, the San Diego Zoo held a three-week farewell event for the two giant pandas. Around 1,000 Americans lined up at the zoo to say goodbye to the pandas, according to Dixon. Enditem