In December 1938, five giant pandas were smuggled
out of China to England. Four of them were bought by London Zoo. Photographer Bert Hardy's son, Mike Hardy, poses for a phot with Ming one of the pandas at London Zoo.
1946: Young Steffi introduces Pandy, the toy panda to Unity the real giant panda, at Regents Park Zoo, London.
In 1958, came a female panda Chi-Chi. She was originally destined
for an American zoo, but at the time Washington had banned all trade with Communist
China. Chi-Chi was branded "communist goods" and was refused entry to the United States.
Chi-Chi became the scene-stealing, star attraction of London Zoo, and remained the best-loved animal in Britain until her death. As the only giant panda in the west, Chi-Chi was the inspiration
behind Peter Scott's design for a symbol for the World Wildlife Fund.
1966: London Zoo's giant panda Chi-Chi seen here back in her quarters after her unsuccessful mating expedition
In 1974 Prime Minister Edward Heath returned from China with two new residents for London Zoo, female panda Ching-Ching and her male companion Chia-Chia - a result of China's panda diplomacy
Ching-Ching needed almost constant medical attention, and after her death, Chia-Chia left in 1988 on a breeding loan
to Mexico City Zoo, which has a good record of panda breeding. Ching Ching (seen here on the right) with Chia Chia after her return following an illness.
In the autumn of 1991 Ming-Ming arrived and was followed by a male, Bao Bao, a loan from Berlin Zoo in hope that they could produce offspring
. However, Bao Bao didn't like Ming Ming. Instead the couple fought savagely
Britain's high hopes for that extreme rarity
, a baby panda born in London.
In December 2011, two giant pandas arrive in Scotland. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said,“I’m delighted by the arrival of pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang at Edinburgh Zoo today, which is a reflection of the strength of our relationship with China. It shows that we can co-operate closely not only on commerce, but on a broad range of environmental and cultural issues as well."