US-born giant pandas learning Sichuan dialect and adapting to life in China after a month

Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the first surviving pair of giant panda twins born in the US, are catching up with local dialects as well as adapting to local delicacies in their new home in Southwest China's Sichuan province.
Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the first surviving pair of giant panda twins born in the US, are catching up with local dialects as well as adapting to local delicacies in their new home in Southwest China's Sichuan province.PHOTO: CHINA DAILY/ FACEBOOK

A pair of giant panda twins who returned to China from the United States last month are finally adapting to life in Sichuan.

After a month of quarantine, panda sisters Mei Lun and Mei Huan were seen in public for the first time on Dec 6.

The first surviving pair of giant panda twins born in the US were initially confused by the local Sichuan dialect, and did not respond when called, or to simple commands, according to Mr Luo Yunhong, the pandas' breeder.

However, they responded quickly to English commands.

They also preferred biscuits from America instead of local food wowotou (a kind of steamed corn bread).

They had been raised in Zoo Atlanta since their birth there three years ago. Their parents Lun Lun and Yang Yang arrived at Atlanta Zoo in 1999 on loan from China.

 

After a month back in Sichuan, the panda twins are learning the local language, and their vital signs are normal, Chinese reports said.

They now understand simple commands like "come here" or "go out".

Mei Lun, in particular, only wanted to eat biscuits at first, but have not "fallen in love" with bamboo shoots, Xinhua said. Sister Meihuan have taken to local fare like wowotou and apples with gusto.

They get along well, and sometimes sleep hugging each other or lean on each other's back as they eat, Sichuan TV reported.

The two will be moving to a breeding area in the panda research centre in Chengdu.