|The panda Yang Guang eats bamboo prior to the journey to Edinburgh, in Ya'an, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Dec. 3, 2011. (Xinhua/Li Qiaoqiao)
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CHENGDU, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Two giant pandas left the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu for Scotland on Sunday, beginning what is hoped will be a 10-year expat life in Edinburgh Zoo.
Yang Guang and Tian Tian, a breeding pair, are scheduled to arrive in Edinburgh at 9 p.m. Beijing Time on a highly anticipated loan from China, according to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP).
The center said two Chinese researchers were also on board to escort Yang Guang and Tian Tian, and the researchers will keep looking after the pandas in the UK until the animals get adapted to their new environment.
China announced in January that it would loan two pandas to Britain as part of a 10-year agreement on panda conservation signed by the two countries.
To ensure a home-like stay for the pandas, Edinburgh Zoo has sent experienced staff to the CCRCGP to learn the skill of raising pandas and also built separate pavilions for the widely-adored animals, according to CCRCGP.
Both Yang Guang and Tian Tian were born in 2003 and have been living in Sichuan province ever since, according to CCRCGP.
Video: Two Chinese pandas begin journey to UK