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CHINA, November 5, Chinadaily -- Two giant pandas will be moving from China to the Ouwehands Zoo about 90 kilometres (60 miles) from Amsterdam in the latter half of 2016, the Dutch zoo has confirmed.

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Two Chinese pandas will be moving to the Ouwehands Zoo in the Dutch town of Rhenen, about 90 km (60 miles) from Amsterdam, in the latter half of 2016. The move follows the signing of an agreement by the Netherlands and China, said Robin de Lange, director of Ouwehands. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The arrival of the 3-year-old pandas, named Xing Ya (male) and Wu Wen (female), follows the signing of an agreement for the move by the Netherlands and China during Dutch King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima's visit to China from Oct 25 to 29.

"We are very excited about their coming and now we have been busy planning and designing to construct a 3,000-square meter home for the pandas," Robin de Lange, director of Ouwehands Zoo told China Daily on Thursday. The pandas' new home will be Chinese-style garden and a bamboo forest next to it.

De Lange said the zoo will pay $1 million every year to rent the pandas for 15 years, and the money will go to Wolong Panda Centre in Sichuan province for the Giant Panda Conservation Project to protect the giant pandas in China.

He said that his team has learned a lot about pandas, including animal management, nutrition, and daily care from zoos around the world.

According to Dirk-Jan van der Kolk, zoological manager at Ouwehands, two of the zoo's staff members will go to the Wolong Giant Panda Centre next spring for 10 weeks of training to give Xing Ya and Wu Wen the best care in their new home in the Netherlands.

De Lange said he expects the arrival of the pandas will lead to about 10,000 visitors to the zoo every day.

"People in Netherlands will love the pandas because it will be the first time that they see pandas again after 28 years," said van der Kolk. "They will be very happy and excited to be able to observe and feed them."

Bert Koenders, Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs, said that China's loaning of the two giant pandas to the zoo reflects the special ties between China and the Netherlands. "I am pleased to hear it. The pandas will be an asset to this country," he said.

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