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Expo pandas are temporary residents

THE 10 giant pandas borrowed from the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in Sichuan Province for display during the World Expo in Shanghai will all return to their natural habitat in two years, an official from the Wolong Natural Reserve said today.

According to the agreement the reserve signed with Shanghai authorities, eight of the 10 Expo pandas, three males and eight females, will stay in the city until 2012, while the other two will be shown in a zoo in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province.

Li Desheng, deputy director of the reserve's administrative bureau, said the 10 pandas are about two years old and will reach maturity in two years. They will be sent back to the center for mating.

"We don't have a plan to carry out panda reproduction in Shanghai," Li said. "So they will all go home first and try to become fathers and mothers."

Now all the 10 pandas are staying at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park. Three will be moved to the Shanghai Zoo on Friday and two will be sent to Ningbo next year.

The Expo pandas came to the city in January to celebrate the World Expo. They stayed at the Shanghai Zoo for the first half year and the Wild Animal Park for the second half.


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