Panda Prices Plunge in San Diego

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    Three other zoos -- in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Memphis -- will also benefit from the newly-negotiated rate.

    The giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo will stay there for five more years, at half the cost, according to a published report.

    With the economy souring, zoo officials have negotiated a loan agreement with the Chinese government that allows them to keep the endangered animals for about half the current cost of $1 million a year per adult, the San Diego Union-Tribune report.

    There are four giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo.

    Three other zoos -- in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Memphis -- will also benefit from the newly-negotiated rate.

    Native to southwestern China, giant pandas live in misty forests of bamboo and conifers at high altitudes. There are about 1,600 in the wild, 200 in captivity, and 13 in U.S. zoos.

    Details are expected at a ceremony with Chinese officials Thursday.

    For more information read the San Diego Union-Tribune article "Pandas Extend Stay in S.D."