People Flock to See Giant Panda Xiang Xiang on Final Day


Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)--People flocked to Ueno Zoo in Tokyo to see Xiang Xiang on Sunday, the final day for public viewing for the beloved 5-year-old female giant panda before her return to China set for Tuesday.

A lottery for viewing Xiang Xiang on Sunday was held in advance. With a total of 2,000 people allowed to view Xiang Xiang on the day, the overall odds surpassed 20 times, and the odds for the final group of 100 viewers reached 70 times.

Viewers cheered and shouted every time Xing Xiang made a move, while some shed tears. The shutters for the exhibition room of Xiang Xiang were lowered around 4:50 p.m. (7:50 a.m. GMT), after the final group saw her.

"I feel sad, but I told her 'Thank you,'" said Natsuki Mizuguchi, a 37-year-old graphic designer from Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward, who was in the final group of viewers. "Xiang Xiang is my friend. She gave me courage and cheered me up."

Harumi Ideguchi, 78, from the city of Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, came to the zoo although she lost the lottery. "I came here as I wanted to be near Xiang Xiang. She made me happy and smile over the five years."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press