A panda is pictured at Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo before its departure in Nanjing, east Chinas Jiangsu province, 5 April 2012. As two great friends of Nanjing residents for the last three years, a special farewell party was held on April 5 at Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo before the giant pandas departed for their hometown. The five-and-half-year-old giant pandas Duoduo and Cuicui left their residence in Nanjing to return to their hometown in Sichuan province by plane on April 5. At an age for breeding, the two female pandas will make preparations for the birth of the next generation at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. They will be offered special dinners of maize rolls mixed with ground bamboo. The two creatures were introduced to Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo from Chengdu in 2009. They will be paired in Chengdu Panda Base when they turn six years old next year, said a worker with the Nanjing zoo. Bidding farewell to the two sisters, the zoo is making efforts in introducing three new pandas next month, each at one-year-and-a-half to two-years-and-a-half years of age.
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