Two United States-born pandas brought to China on November 3 are facing a bit of a culture shock – the 3-year-old twins understand only English and prefer American food.
Mei Lun and Mei Huan were brought to China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding from Zoo Atlanta as part of an agreement between the facility and the Chinese giant panda conservation programme. The sisters’ keepers are now forced to mix American biscuits in the pandas’ food so they eat. The bears also ignore everything said to them in the local language (the Sichuan dialect) as they only understand commands like “come here” in English, The Telegraph reported.
The twins are the first giant pandas to survive past infancy in the US. Their mother, Lun Lun, was born in China but was lent to the US on the condition that all her offspring would be returned to China after they became adults.
Mei Lun and Mei Huan are beginning to adjust to their new environment and have also become slightly accustomed to Chinese bread, according to The People’s Daily.