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Panda Yen Yen in Paris
The above picture is courtesy of Parcs Animaliers de France
The Panda living in the zoo of Paris (Vincennes's zoological garden) is
named Yen-Yen. He came in France in 1973 as a gift from China to the French
Nation. It's the oldest giant panda actually known living in the world (in
captivity as in nature). He's eating every day fresh bamboo.
A couple of pandas was given by Mao Tse-Tung (1893-1976) to the french
president Georges Pompidou (1911-1976). The pandas were 2
males, called Yen-Yen and Lily, and not a couple as announced. The 2 animals
would have been captured in the mountains of South West China a little time
before their transfer to France. They went from China to Paris by airplane
the saturday 8 december 1973, locked up in boxes in the back of the plane.
The temperature inside the plane was limited to 20 degrees so as not to perturb the
metabolism of the 2 pandas. The animals arrived sunday 9 decembre 1973 in
the Paris's zoological garden. According to the zoo's keepers, Lily was
unhealthy. Unfortunately, Lily died few weeks later, in january 1974. In all
likelihood, Yen-Yen is now (may 1999) 26 years old.
Source: Philippe Aquilon Paris, France
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