Giant pandas make international journey to Tokyo - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Giant pandas make international journey to Tokyo

TOKYO, JAPAN (CNN) - A pair of giant pandas are scheduled to arrive next week at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo after completing an international journey.

Roughly 20 years old in human years, the five-year-old male and female pandas will be the first giant pandas at Ueno in three years.  

Tokyo officials said the two pandas will arrive at Ueno Monday night after a day of travel on trucks and aircraft from their home in China's Sichuan Province.

While the zoo has a facility fully prepared to house the pandas, officials said it will take about a month for the animals to debut to the public, as they need to undergo medical inspections.

The pandas will also have to become accustomed to Japanese bamboo, which has a different taste than the Chinese variety they are used to.

Ueno has been asking the public to submit nicknames for the pandas. It plans to announce the winning names when the bears debut in late March, coinciding with spring holidays for many Japanese schools.  

The pandas are being loaned to Ueno under a deal between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and China.

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