Traveling Pandas arrive to their new residence safely from China to London. The giant panda, or panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, literally meaning “black and white cat-foot”) is a bear native to central-western and south western China.
The Pandas are on loan.
The loan marked the beginning of a U.K.-China research program on the animals, and both sides have described it as a signal of a growing friendship between Scotland and China. China sometimes gives or lends the cuddly looking animals — considered a Chinese national treasure — to other countries to boost relations.
“It shows that we can cooperate closely not only on commerce, but on a broad range of environmental and cultural issues as well,” said British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. (www.washingtonpost.com)
Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived at Edinburgh Airport at 1pm on a specially-chartered non-stop flight from China.
The eight-year-old breeding pair are destined for Edinburgh Zoo, which will be their new home for the next 10 years.
Tian Tian, whose name means “sweetie”, and Yang Guang, meaning “sunlight”, travelled from China on board a Boeing 777F flight dubbed the FedEx “Panda Express”, along with a vet and two animal handlers.
Four pilots with “extensive experience” in transporting some of the world’s most precious cargo, including white rhinos and penguins, were also on the flight.
“I am delighted to confirm that the FedEx Panda Express has safely touched down at Edinburgh International Airport,” said Captain Paul Cassell.