Two giant pandas in Tokyo sound in Japan quake

18:23, March 12, 2011      

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A pair of China's giant pandas now living at a Tokyo zoo survived the catastrophic earthquake that struck off Japanese coast Friday, according to China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center.

The two, female panda Xian Nu and male Bi Li, ate, played and slept as usual even after strong shaking was felt in Tokyo, the center in Wolong, southwest China's Sichuan Province, cited Huang Shan, a Chinese keeper at Ueno Zoo, as saying.

The pair arrived at the Ueno Zoo on Feb. 21 this year for a 10-year stay under a joint research agreement on the endangered species.

Xian Nu also survived the 8.1-magnitude Sichuan earthquake on May 12, 2008. Xian Nu was sent to join Bi Li at a zoo in southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in June that year as the quake damaged most of pandas' habitat in Wolong.

Xian Nu and Bi Li, who were given Japanese names "Shin Shin" and "Ri Ri", are both aged 5 years. Pandas born in captivity can live up to 25 years.

A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake jolted the east coast of Japan's main Honshu Island at 1:46 p.m. Beijing Time Friday, causing heavy casualties and catastrophic damage.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday expressed deep sympathy to the Japanese government and people and offered any "necessary help" to Japan.

Source: Xinhua

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