On February 21, 2011, two pandas from China arrived at Ueno Zoo. They are named Ri Ri (a male) and Shin Shin (a female). They were supposed to show to the public on March 22, but they had to postpone the date because of the natural disaster. Finally, the public is scheduled to be able to see the pandas at Ueno Zoo beginning April 1. Pandas are been very popular in Japan. People often wait in long lines just to see them. Since they have arrived, visitors often have had to wait in line for one and a half hours for a chance to see the pandas for just one hour.
You can trace the history of pandas in Japan all the way back to 1972. Kan Kan, a male panda, and Ran Ran, a female panda, first came to Japan October 28, 1972. China sent the pandas to Japan in order to resume diplomatic relations between Japan and China. They sent the pandas on a special plane and they were led by police car to Ueno Zoo. They were first shown to the public on November 5 of that year. People then waited in a long line to see them, too.
Ueno Zoo had kept nine pandas for 36 years. Some of the pandas were born in Ueno zoo. The last one died of old age in 2008, after which, we thought we would not see pandas in Japan anymore. However, Tokyo and China Conservation Society had signed a letter of agreement in order to bring pandas back to Japan. As a result, Ri Ri and Shin Shin were sent to Japan, which has gone without pandas for about three years.
Bits of knowledge about Giant Pandas:
ジャイアントパンダin Japanese, 大熊猫 in Chinese
Habitat: Around the Southwest of China. Sichuan, Aansu and Shaanxi area. 4,300 feet (1,300m) to 11,500 feet (3,500) innovation.
Body size: Height/50 inches (120 cm) to 60 inches (150 cm) Weight/190 lbs. (85 kg) to 290 lbs. (130 kg)
Breeding season: From March to May
Food: the stem and leave of bamboo, bamboo shoots and rarely, insects and rats.
Population: There are about 1,590 known giant pandas, and about 300 in captivity.
Lincoln Park zoo in Chicago, one of the first zoos known to do this, reared a giant panda for in 1936.
It may seem like a deterrent to be crowded in with all the people trying to see the giant pandas, but they must are a must-see because they are so cute! Go see the pandas sometime!
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