2 giant pandas on way from China to Scotland

By the Associated Press | December 4, 2011 | 1:58 AM EST

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, an elderly woman sees off the pandas in Ya'an, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. As part of a ten-year joint research program, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, the pair of giant pandas, were set off for the Edinburgh Zoo from the Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center in Sichuan here on Saturday, Xinhua said. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Qiaoqiao) NO SALES

BEIJING (AP) — Two giant pandas are flying from China to Scotland, where they will become the first pandas to live in Britain in nearly two decades.

The pandas named Tian Tian and Yang Guang — or Sweetie and Sunshine — munched on bamboo at Chengdu airport ahead of their trip Sunday.

The pandas are to stay for 10 years at Edinburgh Zoo, where officials hope they will breed during their stay.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland will pay more than 600,000 pounds ($935,000) a year to China for the loan of Sweetie and Sunshine, not including the expense of imported bamboo.

Britain's last giant panda lived in London Zoo until 1994, when it was returned to China.