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Two Giant Pandas to Depart for Spain Next Month
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Seven-year old giant panda "Bing Xing" and four-year old "Hua Zui Ba" is scheduled to leave Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, on September 8 for a ten-year sojourn in Spain.

A chartered plane would carry the pandas, together with their feeders to Spain, said a Madrid Zoo official, who was in Chengdu to discuss the details with the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center on how to ensure safe and comfortable flight for the animals.

Hua Zui Ba (below) and her friend

China and Spain signed agreement on giant panda protection cooperation in June 2007. Under the agreement, "Bing Xing", a 140-kg male and "Hua Zui Ba" a 93-kg female, will go to Madrid Zoo for research, and will go on show to the public two weeks after arrival if their conditions permit.

Any cubs born during their stay in Spain will belong to China, according to the agreement.

The two pandas will have separate accommodation and activity zones, with each living area equipped with 11 monitors.

Zhang Zhihe, director of the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center, said both giant pandas were in good health.

Giant pandas are among the world's most endangered species. State Forestry Administration figures show 1,590 pandas live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan and more than 210 live in captivity.

(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2007)

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