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Giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrive in Edinburgh

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The first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years have arrived at their new home in Edinburgh Zoo.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang landed just after 1pm on a specially chartered flight from China, which took around nine hours.

The pair are said to have enjoyed in-flight meals of bamboo, apples, carrots, a special panda cake and mineral water, and were joined by a vet and two animal handlers throughout the journey.

The pandas, from the Bifengxia Panda Base, arrived at Edinburgh Airport to temperatures of around 3°C, approximately 7°C lower than their former home.

Watch Tian Tian and Yang Guang's journey to Edinburgh Zoo below:



BBC Scotland correspondent Colin Blane said: "I have been told the male panda, Yang Guang, is very fond of a roll around in the snow. The conditions should be to his liking.

"The female is more coy and shy, whereas the male is more outgoing. Neither is aggressive, they're both easy-going - eating and sleeping a lot of the time."

Officials present to welcome the new arrivals included Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Edinburgh's Lord Provost George Grubb and the Chinese Charge d'Affaires.

Crowds gathered at the zoo to see the pandas arrive, although they will both have two weeks to settle in before going on show to the public in their £250,000 home, where they each have a separate enclosure.

They will be introduced to each other around February or March when Tian Tian comes into season, with hopes that the pandas will successfully mate.

Tian Tian, which means "sweetie", and Yang Guang, meaning "sunshine", will stay at Edinburgh Zoo for at least ten years.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hailed their arrival as a reflection of the the UK's strong relationship with China.

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