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Giant Pandas Get To Stay In U.S. (Video)

Giant Pandas Get To Stay In U.S. (Video)

Chinese officials have agreed to let the pair of endangered giant pandas living at the National Zoo, stay in the U.S. for another five years.

 

Zang Chunlin, secretary general of the China Wildlife Conservation Association announced in a press conference on Wednesday that Mei Xiang (may-Shong) and Tian Tian (tee-Yen tee-Yen) will be able to stay at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. until December 2015.  The agreement for the extension will be signed at the zoo on Thursday.

 

The two giant pandas have been on loan from China for the past 10 years and that agreement expired in late 2010. 

 

Both American and China diplomats consider this extension to be an important gesture, especially since the announcement came during the U.S. visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

 

It was reported that the Chinese delegation turned off a television of the live joint press conference with Present Obama and President Hu Jintao, to hold a “panda briefing.”

 

But the real news behind the extension is that it will give Mei Xiang and Tian Tian time to mate and bring another endangered giant panda into the world.  The pair gave birth to a panda cub named Taishan who was born at the National Zoo in 2005. 

 

His birth drew tens of millions of fans to the zoo’s pandacam site.  However, the loan agreement required Taishan to return to China in order to take part in their captive breeding program.  He was shipped overseas nearly a year ago.

 

The new agreement will bring Chinese specialists to the United States to help Mei Xiang and Tian Tian mate or be artificially inseminated.

 

Giant pandas have a long history in Washington.  Hsing Hsing and Ling Ling were presented by China to the U.S. in 1972 to President Richard Nixon.  Americans fell in love with the animals who lived at the National Zoo for 20 years.

 

Video of School Kids Watching Mei Xiang and Tian Tian play.

 

 

 

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45 comments

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5:59PM PST on Jan 24, 2011

Pandas are just soooo cute :)

12:17PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

so cute!

7:39AM PST on Jan 23, 2011

thanks 4 video.

10:19PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

I think it's wonderful they can stay

9:33PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

love pandas, thanks for the video.

8:22PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

well of course the Pandas are on loan from China. That's where they naturally occur, for heaven's sake! I really think we should all stop being so racist - what's important is that the species is being given a chance to survive what man is doing to it. Just remember - hate only engenders hate.

6:29PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

All I care about is that they are happy where they are -- they're so precious and oh-so adorable.

1:04PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Pandas are so cute!

9:28AM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Growing up near the workday class St Louis zoo spoiled me for other zoos. The National Zoo is tiny in comparison, its saving grace being the Pandas.

11:11PM PST on Jan 21, 2011

PANDAS ROCK!!!!

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Really funny, poor Maru really annoyed he can't fit into that little box, however hard he tries.

Is this supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek article? It's not April 1st, as far as I know.

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