Sunday, April 3, 2011


Yep, the Ueno Park Zoo has pandas once again.

Check out this BBC News story about the exhibit's opening day.

The much-anticipated arrival of "Shin Shin" and "Ri Ri" finally happened in late February -- just in time for the big earthquake-tsunami. According to Japan Probe, these pandas were living in Sichuan, in the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center there, when the May 12, 2008 quake devastated that area. (Now that's unlucky.)

When the March 11 quake hit here, the pandas ran around in their cages and took two hours to calm down, NHK reported. They're better now, zookeepers say.

Fun fact from the Probe: these pandas are not a "friendship gift" from China. Japan will pay $950,000 a year (about 90 million yen) to "lease" the animals.

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