National Zoo returning beloved pandas to China on Wednesday after 23 years in U.S.


The Smithsonian National Zoo’s beloved giant pandas began their trek back to China on Nov. 8 after 23 years in the U.S. The pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, were on loan for a research and breeding program and in 2020 gave birth to a baby named Xiao Qi Ji, who is also heading to China.
Ahead of the pandas’ farewell to the zoo, the Smithsonian said in a news release that forklifts will be used to move each of them into FedEx trucks. The trucks will transport them to Dulles International Airport, but they will not be visible as they are moved onto the


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