- Title: JAPAN: Long-awaited Pandas arrive at Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Park
- Date: 22nd February 2011
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (FEBRUARY 22, 2011) (REUTERS) ENTRANCE GATE TO UENO ZOOLOGICAL PARK TRUCK CARRYING PAIR OF PANDAS DRIVING THROUGH GATE MEDIA FILMING TRUCK ENTERING MORE OF TRUCK ENTERING TRUCKS DRIVERS TRUCK HEADING TOWARDS PANDA EXHIBIT CAMERAMAN FILMING TRUCK DRIVING AWAY UENO ZOOLOGICAL PARK PRESIDENT TERUYUKI KOMIYA WALKING ONTO PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) UENO ZOOLOGICAL PARK PRESIDENT TERUYUKI KOMIYA SAYING: "When the first Panda came to Japan in 1972, they came here to Ueno. As there haven't been any Pandas in Ueno for a while now, there's been alot of people who have wanted to see a Panda again in Ueno. " PHOTOGRAPHERS TAKING PICTURES (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) UENO ZOOLOGICAL PARK PRESIDENT TERUYUKI KOMIYA SAYING: "There are only about 1,600 Pandas in the wild right now and so taking care of 2 of them is part of how we hope to work to prevent Pandas from going extinct." KOMIYA ANSWERING QUESTIONS
- Embargoed: 9th March 2011 12:00
- Location: Japan, Japan, China
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Nature / Environment,Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA56BCP2UGSIV6GN7YY03BXAO0L
- Story Text: Hundreds of journalists gather for panda pair arrival at Japanese zoo.
Hundreds of journalists gathered on Tuesday (February 22) up to see Japan's newest pair of Pandas finish their nearly 4,000 kilometre journey and arrive at their new home in Tokyo.
The panda pair, Xiannu and Bili, arrived in Japan at Narita International Airport late Monday (February 21) evening, before being transported to Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Park. .
Nearly 200 journalists from 70 different companies came out to see the truck containing the Pandas arrive at their new home.
The Pandas, Xiannu and Bili, were born in Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan province but were then relocated to Bifengxia Panda center after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Ueno Zoo first received a pair of Pandas from China in 1972 but has been without a Panda since 2008 and the death of Ling Ling.
"When the first Panda came to Japan in 1972, they came here to Ueno. As as there haven't been any Pandas in Ueno for a while now, there's been alot of people who have wanted to see a Panda again in Ueno." said Ueno Zoological Park's President Teruyuki Komiya after the Pandas had arrived.
Komiya also emphasized the responsibility the park had in protecting what is an endangered species.
"There are only about 1,600 Pandas in the wild right now and so taking care of 2 of them is part of how we hope to work to prevent Pandas from going extinct." Komiya said.
The privilege to raise the Pandas however comes in at a hefty USD 950 thousand price tag per year.
The Zoo has also spent approximately 90 million Japanese Yen( Approx USD1.08 million) to renovate the Panda habitat and get it ready for its newest occupants.
The Pandas are slated to go on display at the Zoo sometime in March and will also be getting their Japanese names at the same time.
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