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Panda twins born in Spain sent 'back' to China

May 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM

CHENGDU, China, May 18 (UPI) -- Twin giant pandas born in Spain arrived in their ancestral homeland of China Saturday, officials at a breeding research center in Chengdu confirmed.

De De and A Bao were declared to be in good health after their long trip from Madrid and began a month-long quarantine period prior to their first public appearance, scientists told China's official Xinhua news agency.

It wasn't exactly a homecoming for De De and A Bao -- the twins were born 2 1/2 years ago in Spain after an artificial insemination procedure. The mother, Hua Zui Ba, had come to Spain from Sichuan.

Under an international agreement, cubs born outside China are nevertheless considered to be on loan and must return to China after their 2nd birthday. The Spanish pandas were the 10th and 11th cubs born overseas to be shipped back to China.

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