China to send two pandas to Australia for joint research

08:33, November 24, 2009      

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China will send two giant pandas to Australia Friday for a cooperative research program.

The four-year-old male panda "Wang Wang" and three-year-old female panda "Fu Ni" will stay in Australia for 10 years, said Zhang Hemin, chief of the Wolong Nature Reserve Administration in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

"Wang Wang", which means "net" in Chinese, is 119 kg and "Fu Ni", which means "lucky girl", is 90 kg. They were quarantined on Oct. 21 for their trip to Australia.

"Wang Wang" and "Fu Ni" were transferred to the Bifengxia Giant Panda Breeding Center in Ya'an City after the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center where they were living were destroyed in the May 12 massive earthquake in 2008.

The Australian side had sent veterinaries and feeders of the two pandas to China for training. It had also set up a 10 hectares bamboo planting base, Zhang said.

The two pandas will receive a body check Tuesday before their departure.

China and Australia made an agreement in 2007 on the cooperative research.

Giant pandas, known for being sexually inactive, are among the world's most endangered animals due to shrinking habitat.

There are about 1,590 pandas living in China's wild, mostly in Sichuan and the northwestern provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu.

Source:Xinhua
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