OSAKA, Japan (AFP) – The Tokyo government said Tuesday a local zoo will start showing giant pandas from Friday, when it will resume operations after a temporary closure following a deadly earthquake and tsunami.

A pair of the animals, leased from China, arrived at Ueno Zoo on February 21, causing a media frenzy in the panda-loving nation.

They were originally scheduled to appear before the public from March 22.

But the zoo closed after the 9.0-magnitude quake and deadly tsunami on March 11, which also caused a massive nuclear power plant accident, prompting a nationwide radiation scare.

The zoo will wave admission fees for victims of the natural disasters until April 10, the Tokyo metropolitan government said.