Australia welcomes two giant pandas from China

Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:22am EST
 
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ADELAIDE, Australia (Reuters) - Australia welcomed on Saturday two giant pandas from China zookeepers said they hope will become the first breeding pair in the southern hemisphere.

Wang Wang, a 4-year-old male, and Funi, a 3-year-old female, were flown into their new home in the southern city of Adelaide accompanied by their Chinese keepers.

The pair have been given to Adelaide Zoo under an agreement with China, initially as a 10-year loan.

The zoo has a record of successfully breeding endangered animals, including red pandas, and there is optimism the pair will eventually produce offspring.

"There is no reason why they should not," Adelaide Zoo spokeswoman Emily Rice said.

The pandas will go on display in their new home in mid-December.

(Editing by Paul Tait)

 
<p>Funi, a three-year-old female giant panda, looks at fruits in its new enclosure at Adelaide Zoo in the South Australia state November 28, 2009. Australia welcomed on Saturday two giant pandas from China. Zookeepers said they hope they will become the first breeding pair in the southern hemisphere. REUTERS/Zoos SA/Bryan Charlton/Handout</p>