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8 earthquake pandas ready for display in Beijing
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Eight giant pandas that arrived in Beijing Zoo from quake-affected southwest China last month will goon public display from Thursday.

A feeder plays with giant pandas at the Beijing Zoo in Beijing, capital of China, June 2, 2008. Eight giant pandas, the "Olympic Pandas" chosen by netizens, were flown to Beijing from Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, on May 24, after they were evacuated from the earthquake-hit Wolong Nature Reserve. They will meet with tourists on June 5.

The 2-year-old pandas were living comfortably in their new pens and appeared to be physically and emotionally healthy, allowing them to go on display, said Wu Daifu, keeper of the endangered animals.

The display would be launched at a ceremony on Thursday, said Party chief of the zoo Wang Chongqing.

The eight animals left their quake-damaged breeding center in Wolong, only 30 kilometers from the epicenter of the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province, on May 24 for a six-month stay in Beijing.

The special visit was planned long before the quake for the Olympics in August.

The eight pandas live in three new pens with air conditioning and eat about 240 kilograms of fresh bamboo and bamboo shoots every day, according to Zhang Jinguo, deputy chief of the zoo.

They are scheduled to return to Sichuan in November.

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