Chinese official hands over new panda to Vienna zoo

Chinese official hands over new panda to Vienna zoo
In this file photo taken at Schoenbrunn zoo in Vienna, on Aug. 10, 2009, panda Fu Long, left, plays with his mother Yang Yang in the outdoor enclosure. A senior Chinese official has officially handed over a 19-year-old male giant panda to Vienna's Schoenbrunn zoo. Yuan Yuan arrived in Vienna last month and has spent the last few weeks in quarantine. He was chosen as a partner for Yang Yang, the zoo's 18-year-old female panda, who has been at the zoo since 2003 but without a companion since its previous male, Long Hui, died of cancer in 2016. (AP Photo/Lilli Strauss)

A senior Chinese official has officially handed over a 19-year-old male giant panda to Vienna's Schoenbrunn zoo.

Yuan Yuan arrived in Vienna last month and has spent the last few weeks in quarantine. He was chosen as a partner for Yang Yang, the zoo's 18-year-old female panda, who has been at the zoo since 2003 but without a companion since its previous male, Long Hui, died of cancer in 2016.

Li Zhanshu, the head of China's parliament, handed over Yuan Yuan at a ceremony Monday. China lends the rare bears to other countries as a sign of goodwill in what is known as "panda diplomacy." Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen described the animals as a "symbol of friendship" and said they have a "certain diplomatic mission."


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