GIANT PANDA BORN AT THE NATIONAL ZOO BEING SENT TO CHINA: The giant panda Bao Bao, who was born at the National Zoo in 2013, is leaving Washington, D.C., to go live in China, where the three-year-old will eventually join a breeding program. Bao Bao is flying out today (February 21st) on a special FedEx plane, and fans will be able to watch her leave from the zoo and the airport on the National Zoo's Facebook page.
After Bao Bao leaves, the National Zoo will still have three pandas -- her parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, and younger brother Bei Bei, who was born in 2015. The two adults arrived on loan from China in 2000, but they still belong to that country, as do any cubs they have. Their first cub, Tai Shen, returned to China in 2010.
A total of four U.S. zoos have pandas that are on loan from China.
I am very fortunate to have been able to visit Bao Bao two-and-a-half years ago. She was sleeping up in a tree when I visited the National Zoo. Bao Bao has such a cute personality that it's a shame she has to go. Today I wore my Bao Bao shirt and necklace in honor of her departure. Here's more info about Bao Bao's departure from the National Zoo's website: #ByebyeBaoBao.