1.3 million visitors at National Zoo

WASHINGTON: More than 1.3 million visitors to the National Zoo have

come to see Tian Tian and Mei Xiang since the two pandas went on display

on January 10, and the zoo last week announced a record dollars 4.8

million in food and gift sales. Zoo spokesperson Bob Hoage said the

zoo's PR team has sponsored an editors' tour for The Washington Post and

has sent out press kits to all major national media. While Hoage

acknowledged that cute, cuddly pandas are not a hard media sell, he

added he is working on gaining coverage for the scientific research and

conservation aspects of the pandas.

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