Thailand's adored giant panda searches for love in China
BANGKOK (AFP) - A celebrity panda, whose exploits were avidly followed in Thailand on a 24-hour television channel, left the kingdom on Saturday in search of a mate in China, her zookeeper said.
Linping, who has drawn around 2.5 million people to Chiang Mai Zoo since she was born in 2009, was flown from the northern Thai city for China's Chengdu where she will meet six male giant pandas within her age range.
More than 200 adoring Thai fans accompanied the bear on a Thai Airways flight to China, where she will set up temporary home in the Wolong nature reserve.
"She will be in China for one year to select her mate," said Mr Tanapattara Pongpamorn, director of Chiang Mai zoo.