China panda loan to US zoo

Friday, June 5, 2009

FOUR giant pandas will continue to live at the United States-based San Diego Zoo after China extended a loan deal for five more years.

The agreement signed yesterday at the zoo allows the pandas, two of which have given birth to one female cub each, to stay at least five more years, Xinhua news agency reported today.

The cub named "Zhen Zhen" will be sent to China after it turns 4 years old.

San Diego Zoo first received pandas from China in 1996. According to the agreement, the zoo pays an annual US$500,000 fee, most of which goes towards China's panda center.

San Diego Zoo and other American zoos have collected US$375,000 in donations since the May earthquake.

The money will be used for panda research and conservation, Giant Panda Conservation Foundation President David Towne said.


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