iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Two panda twins have become quite homesick.
Meilun and Meihuan were born at Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia, three years ago but were sent back to China earlier this month as part of a panda conservation collaborative effort between Zoo Atlanta and China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The twins’ parents were born at the research base and their older brother and sister currently live there, according to a statement from Zoo Atlanta.
The two twins seem to be experiencing some culture shock in their new home, according to local Chinese media.
The transition has been difficult for the pandas: they don’t seem to care for Chinese food and don’t understand the local language, according to the state-run Chinese news agency the People’s Daily.
Luo Yunhong, a breeder at the panda research base, told the People’s Daily that the twins love American crackers so much that everything they eat in China–from bamboo to apples–has to be mixed with the American food in order for them to eat it. Luo said he has been slowly replacing the American crackers with Chinese bread to help them break their habit.
The People’s Daily also reported that Meilun and Meihuan do not respond when spoken to in the local Sichuan dialect, but react to some basic English phrases such as “come here.”
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