INTRODUCTION: Two of Tokyo's most lovable citizens have been given a place of honour in Japanese zoos.
GV Children walking to zoo
SV ZOOM TO CU souvenir stall with cardboard pandas
SV Tokyo, 1977: SV the two giant pandas, Lan Lan and Kang Kang, mating (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO SV Lan Lan
SV Children look at Lan Lan (3 shots)
GV Kang Kang pacing up and down in compound (2 shots)
SV 1980 Stuffed body of Kang Kang on show in zoo (2 shots)
SVs Young children look at body of Kang Kang (3 shots)
SV Giant panda Huang Huang pacing up and down in cage as children watch (3 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Two of Tokyo's most lovable citizens have been given a place of honour in Japanese zoos. They are the stuffed and mounted bodies of two giant pandas -- the female Lan Lan and Kang Kang -- who both died during the past two years. Lan Lan and Kang Kang were presented to Japan by China in 1972 when diplomatic relations between the two countries were resumed. The pandas took up residence in adjoining compounds in Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.
SYNOPSIS: They attracted thousands of children to the zoo and they brought their animal-loving parents too. Excitement about the pandas spread throughout Japan. The sale of toy pandas broke all records in the shops. Then, in 1977, Lan Lan and Kang Kang were mated. Japan's television viewers saw the possible start of an increase in the panda population. Zoo officials said there were encouraging signs that Lan Lan might be pregnant. But it was not until 1979 that she conceived. Sadly, she died of kidney failure in September that year.
Her mate Kang Kang had seemed like the nervous father-to-be as he paced outside Lan Lan's cage. When he died in 1930, Japanese children were sure this was due to a broken heart. Now hundreds of them who knew him are visiting the zoo to see Kang Kang's mounted figure on display. The stuffed body of Lan Lan was given to another zoo to give more people a chance to see her again.
The Ueno Zoo is lucky enough to have received another female giant panda from China. Her name is Huang Huang. She arrived in Tokyo as a Chinese gesture of friendship following the death of Lan Lan. Perhaps a mate will be found for her too. But, so far, no panda outside China has given birth in captivity.