CHENGDU, China (CCTV/CNN) - Two 4-year-old giant pandas, Mei Bang and Yong Bang, left Japan and arrived at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Tuesday.
The female panda Mei Bang and her younger brother Yong Bang were both born on September 13, 2012 and raised at the Adventure World Wakayama in Shirahama, Japan.
They were taken to the base's quarantine region on arrival in Chengdu. Yong Bang paced and sniffed around his cage, whereas Mei Bang ate bamboo and apples.
"Yong Bang is very excited at arriving at his new home. He needs time to adapt to the new environment. Mei Bang is calmer and quieter. She has been eating bamboo all the time since she arrived," said Li Han, a breeder at the research base.
They will be kept in quarantine for about one month before they can meet the public.
China has established panda breeding programs in collaboration with Japan, the United States and European countries. The programs aim to increase global understanding of the endangered species' feeding and breeding habits.
According to cooperative agreements, cubs born to pandas that are "on loan" from China belong to China and must be returned after they become sexually mature or the cooperative agreement will end.
Mei Bang, Yong Bang and their brothers and sisters are all cubs of the male panda Yong Ming and the female panda Mei Mei, who were "loaned" to Japan. With 12 family members, they are the biggest panda family raised overseas so far.
Giant pandas, known for being sexually inactive, are among the world's most endangered animals.
According to a 2012 report by China's Giant Panda Breeding Technology Committee, a total of 341 pandas are in captive-breeding programs, mainly in China, but also abroad. About 1,600 giant pandas live in the wild in China, mostly in Sichuan and the northwestern provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu.