Languages
Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Japan to rent pandas from China

Pandas in Shanghai, China (file image)
All loaned pandas and cubs must eventually return to China

Giant pandas are to make a return to Tokyo's Ueno Zoo after the Japanese capital agreed to rent a pair from China for $1m (£640,000).

The money will be used to fund panda conservation projects and rebuild a sanctuary damaged in the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province.

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said the price was high but the city had managed to secure a $50,000 discount.

Ueon zoo's last giant panda, a male named Ling Ling, died in 2008.

Mr Ishihara said he had received "strong requests" from people around Japan who wanted to see pandas at the zoo again.

"Pandas are endangered and everyone loves them," Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted him as saying.

After Ling Ling's death from heart failure at the age of 22, people across the country sent gifts and condolence messages to the zoo.

Ling Ling's portrait was displayed inside his cage, along with offerings of his favourite bamboo shoots.

China often loans pandas to other countries as gestures of friendship and to take part in breeding programmes, but asks that all pandas and their offspring are eventually returned to China.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
US-born pandas welcomed to China
06 Feb 10 |  Americas
Pandas 'chirp' to get pregnant
02 Dec 09 |  Earth News
Pandas 'safe' at park after quake
13 May 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Mexican panda seeks love in Tokyo
04 Dec 03 |  Asia-Pacific


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific