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New zoo pandas 'settling in well'

Two giant pandas flown to the UK from China have spent the first night at their new home sleeping off the effects of jet lag.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang touched down at Edinburgh Airport on Sunday afternoon on a specially chartered non-stop flight from China.

The pair have not ventured outside yet but will spend their first few days getting acclimatised to their new surroundings of Edinburgh Zoo.

A spokesman for the visitor attraction said they had settled in "very well", adding that it had been a "positive experience so far".

He said: "They are experiencing a little bit of jet lag, just like anyone else would after a long flight, but apart from that they are fine. They have two hours sleep, wake up, get fed, and then go back to sleep. They are eating well.

"We are working now on getting them into a routine after their first night. But they are frolicking around in their new inside enclosure and it's so far, so good."

The pandas will be gradually introduced to their outdoor enclosure in the next few days. They will have two weeks to settle in before going on display to the public at the zoo which will be their new home for the next 10 years.

Tian Tian, the female whose name means "sweetie", and Yang Guang, meaning "sunlight", travelled from China on a Boeing 777F flight dubbed the FedEx "Panda Express", along with a vet and two animal handlers.

The eight-year-old breeding pair were given an in-flight meal of bamboo, apples, carrots and a "panda cake".

Their arrival from the Ya'an reserve in Chengdu, China, marks the culmination of a five-year effort to bring the animals to Scotland. It is hoped that the pandas, the first to live in the UK for 17 years, will eventually give birth to cubs.


From Belfast Telegraph