• Kyodo

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Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo resumed public viewing of two giant pandas Friday after a brief hiatus for the mating season.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a baby panda,” said Yasuhiro Doi, 40, a university teacher who traveled from Nagoya to see the pandas with his wife and 2-year-old son. “My son seems to be happy to be able to see the pandas.”

Public viewing of Shin Shin, a female, and Ri Ri was suspended March 7 because they appeared to have entered the mating season. The two were confirmed to have since mated on two occasions, sparking hopes for the birth of a cub.

The two pandas were presented to the public in separate cages. Shin Shin moved around actively while Ri Ri came close to the bars separating them and watched his mate. A zoo official said, “The two are a good match and we intend to carefully manage their health conditions.”

Shin Shin and Ri Ri had a cub last year, the first giant panda cub born at the zoo in 24 years, but it died of pneumonia six days after birth.

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