Bye Bye, Bao Bao: Panda leaves Washington for China

The National Zoo's giant panda Bao Bao will stay in quarantine for about a month, before entering Chengdu's special breeding pro
The National Zoo's giant panda Bao Bao will stay in quarantine for about a month, before entering Chengdu's special breeding program

One of Washington's most popular residents left town on Tuesday: Bao Bao, the National Zoo's uber-popular young female panda, headed to her new home in China.

Bao Bao left Dulles International Airport outside the US capital on a specially outfitted cargo plane for a 16-hour nonstop flight to the Chinese city of Chengdu, home to a special research base for giant panda breeding.

Two zoo personnel will travel with the panda—along with about 30 kilos (65 pounds) of food—mainly bamboo, but also apples, cooked and special biscuits.

Once in China, the 3.5-year-old Bao Bao—born in August 2013 at the National Zoo—will stay in quarantine for about a month, before entering the breeding program.

About 60,000 panda lovers visited the zoo over the weekend to say farewell to Bao Bao, some of them traveling long distances. Her departure was shown on Facebook Live on Monday.

Most around the world are on loan from China. Any panda cubs born abroad, like Bao Bao, are sent back to China before they turn four.

The National Zoo has played host to pandas since the early 1970s.

An estimated 1,800 pandas live in the wild, mainly in China's Sichuan province.


Explore further

China giant panda gives birth to twins

© 2017 AFP

Citation: Bye Bye, Bao Bao: Panda leaves Washington for China (2017, February 21) retrieved 23 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-02-bye-bao-panda-washington-china.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
15 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more