National Zoo to FedEx Giant Pandas Back to China by Mid-November

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The three giant pandas at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are set to depart for China by mid-November—before the zoo’s current lease with the animals is set to end, the Washington Post reported. The pandas—Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and their son, three-year-old Xiao Qi Ji—will be FedExed via cargo plane back to China ahead of the Dec. 7 expiry of the current agreement between the country and zoo. On the journey with them will be around 300 pounds of bamboo. It marks the end of D.C.’s 23-year-long stretch with the giant pandas. “I think about it almost like them going to college,” zoo director Brandie Smith said. “You know it’s going to happen. It’s about to happen. You prepare for it for so long. But on the day that it actually does happen, you’re just, like, a bawling mess.”

Read it at The Washington Post

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