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Panda pair lands in Edinburgh under 10-year research partnership

(Global Times)

08:41, December 05, 2011

Tian Tian, one of the two pandas loaned to the UK, is transferred from the base on Saturday. Photo: CFP

Two pandas loaned to the UK left Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Sunday morning and landed in Edinburgh after an 11-hour flight as part of a 10-year research project, according to a report released on the website of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.

The 7-year-old pandas Sunshine and Sweetie (Yang Guang and Tian Tian in Chinese) from the center's Ya'an Bifengxia Base in Sichuan Province were escorted by their keeper Xie Hao and Tang Chunxiang, a veterinarian from the center, who will stay at Edinburgh Zoo to look after the pandas until they adapt to their new environment, said the report.

"I'm really going to miss these two," Xie told the UK-based Sky News. "But the important thing is that more people understand the panda, so I have to sacrifice my own feelings."

Early this year, China and the UK signed a 10-year research agreement and the center loaned the two pandas to the zoo as part of the partnership.

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