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Famous Chinese Visitors Shake a Leg for Home

February 11, 1988

After a little more than six months, in which they were visited by more than 2.3 million people at the San Diego Zoo, giant pandas Basi and Yuan Yuan arrived at Los Angeles International Airport to begin their 16-hour flight back to China, which had lent the animals to the zoo.

The Chinese tourists are "just as cute as black and white teddy bears," airport spokeswoman Pat Schoneberger said. The zoo reported a 37.4% increase in visitors, largely attributed to the panda exhibit, which opened late last July.

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