Recently the year old twin pandas made their first public appearance this week in Tokyo’s Ueno Zoological Gardens. Still, they will be available for just three days and only to a small number of people due to a recurring outbreak of coronavirus-related infections.
The male among the twins is names Xiao and the female of the twins is called Lei. They were born in June and only weigh 13 and 14 kg respectively. The twins, along with their mother, were displayed to visitors and at the Tokyo municipal zoo run by the government.
People who had been able to meet the pandas through an online lottery were allowed to enter the panda enclosure around 10 a.m. The zoo’s policy is to avoid spreading infections, so the visitors are given about one minute to view the cubs.
Nakao Kawazoe, the first person to win the lottery to view the twins stated, “They were fluffy and cute. It was a miracle that I could see them biting leaves and climbing a tree.” People were so eager to look at the pandas that they even lined up for them from 5 a.m.
On Tuesday, the metropolitan government announced the closure of the rest of the zoo and other facilities like gardens and museums because of the resurgence of the virus. However, it decided to present the pandas to visitors of 1,080 chosen through the lottery every day from Monday to Friday.
Ayano Tanaka, 28, a Tokyo woman, said that she was pleased that the public could view the pandas. “I was worried that the viewing would be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The lottery to see pandas was conducted in December of last year, following their birth on the 23rd of June, and the odds of winning at 1 out of 348.
The parents of the twins are Shin Shin and Ri Ri. The two, who are on loan from China and both 16, also had an infant in 2012; however, it passed away after six days of pneumonia.
When twin pandas Xiao Xiao and Lei Lei arrived, it was the first time the oldest Japanese zoo, opened in 1882, possessed twin pandas. It was the first to receive pandas in 1972 from China to mark regularization in bilateral relations.