Huan Huan and Yuan Zi are described as lovable, good-looking and sporty. The two Chinese pandas who arrived in France aboard the Panda Express, are on loan to a French zoo for the next decade.
Six lucky candidates have been awarded the highly coveted opportunity to work as panda caretakers for one month, after an intense three-hour live showdown on China’s largest television network, CCTV.
Two giant pandas arrived in France on Sunday, having flown from China on the Panda Express. Huan Huan (Happy) and Yuan Zi (Chubby) were greeted at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, by staff from the Zoo Parc de Beauval. The pandas will make their home at the private Beauval zoo in the Loire.
Following a farewell reception in Chengdu the pandas boarded the Panda Express bound for Paris. During the eleven hour flight on a Boeing 777 the welfare of the two pandas was paramount. TheChina Daily reported they had plenty of bamboo shoots and apples to eat.
Huan Huan and Yuan Zi are on loan to the French zoo for 10 years, having been chosen for their breeding potential. At the moment they will remain in quarantine in their specially designed zoo home, replete with Chinese pagodas and statues of lions, before meeting the public on February 11.
According to Rfi.fr the pandas are familiar with the "pambassador" David Algranti, who spent several weeks acting as their guardian in Chengdu. He said "France is lucky to be getting these two, they are particularly lovable, and very good-looking. Huan Huan sticks out her tongue a lot and Yuan Zi loves to climb, he's quite sporty."