WASHINGTON – The National Zoo in Washington D.C. is saying its final goodbye to panda Bao Bao as she moves to China today.
The panda was born at the national Zoo on August 23, 2013 to parents Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. The zoo held an online vote to name the panda, and after 100 days, the name Bao Bao was chosen. According to the National Zoo, Bao Bao translates to “precious” or treasure.”
Bao Bao made her public debut in January 2014.
The National Zoo has been preparing for Bao Bao’s departure since she was born—she was always destined to move to China as part of a longstanding agreement with the U.S. Her parents are here on loan from China, and an agreement we have with China stipulates that any cub they have must move back.
After Bao Bao leaves the zoo, she will travel to Washington Dulles International Airport in a large crate. Her keeper and veterinarian will help her board a custom-decaled “FedEx Panda Express” 777F aircraft, and she will fly nonstop to Chengdu, China.
Bao Bao’s 1-year-old brother Bei Bei and her parents will remain at the National Zoo.