Twin pandas born in Tokyo zoo make public debut

Nikkei -- Jan 12
The twin giant pandas born at Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Gardens last year made their public debut Wednesday, but will be on view for only three days and to a limited number of visitors amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

The male cub Xiao Xiao and his sister Lei Lei, who were born in June, now weigh around 13 to 14 kg each. They were shown to visitors together with mother Shin Shin at the Tokyo metropolitan government-run zoo.

Members of the public who had won a chance to see the pandas in a lottery began entering the panda facility at 10 a.m. Under the zoo's policy to prevent the spread of infections, each visitor only has around one minute to see the cubs.

"They were fluffy and cute. It was a miracle that I could see them biting leaves and climbing a tree," said 55-year-old Naoko Kawazoe, a Tokyo resident who became the first visitor to meet the pandas after lining up at the zoo from 5 a.m.

The metropolitan government on Tuesday closed the rest of the zoo as well as its other facilities such as gardens and museums for the time being due to the virus resurgence. But it decided to show the pandas to the 1,080 visitors selected through the lottery each day through Friday.

東京・上野動物園の双子のパンダが12日、一般公開されました。新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大を受け、3日間の限定公開です。 - ANNnewsCH