National Zoo Celebrates 40 Years of Pandas

Monday was the anniversary of the day the pandas arrived in Maryland from China

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012  |  Updated 6:51 AM EDT
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National Zoo Celebrates 40 Years of Pandas

AP

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The National Zoo is celebrating 40 years of pandas.

Monday was the 40th anniversary of the day pandas Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling landed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. The pandas were gifts to the United States from China following President Richard Nixon's historic visit to the country.

The pandas were officially presented to the Zoo on April 20, 1972. Ling-Ling lived at the National Zoo until 1992, when she died. Hsing-Hsing died in 1999.

The zoo's current two pandas, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang, arrived in December 2000.

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