Giant pandas from Atlanta Zoo arrive at Chengdu research centre


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The Independent Online

Two giant pandas born in the US have arrived safely at their new home in China after a four-day trip.

Five-year-old Xi Lan and three-year-old Po arrived at the Chengdu giant panda breeding and research base in Sichuan on Thursday, according to Zoo Atlanta based in the state of Georgia.

The bears will remain in routine quarantine for a short period of time, before being moved into their new habitats at the Chinese centre.

The facility opened in March 1987, and began as an extension of Chengdu Zoo.

Zoo Atlanta associate veterinarian Sam Rivera and lead keeper of carnivores Kenn Harwood told reporters that the bears are adjusting well to their new environment.

Giant pandas are notorious for their low sex drive, and are among the world's most endangered animals.

Fewer than 1,600 pandas remain in the wild, mainly in China's Sichuan province, with a further 300 in captivity around the world. 

Last month, the UK’s only female giant panda, Tian Tian, was artificially inseminated, nearly a year after she lost her foetus at late term.