The Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington D.C. has been the home of giant pandas for over two decades.
Sadly, to the dismay of thousands of adoring fans and passionate panda lovers, the last three remaining giant pandas have been relocated from D.C. and are on their way to China. The final three to be transported were parents Tian Tian, 26; Mei Xiang, 25, and their youngest offspring, 3-year-old Xiao Qi Ji, but already transported are the 3 older children of the family: Tai Shan, Bao Bao, and Bei Bei.
Why are the pandas leaving Washington D.C. to go back to China?
The easiest way to explain the panda’s return to China is because of the expiration of a joint research agreement between the U.S. and China. As of right now, there’s sadly not been any confirmation or word from the zoo’s officials that this agreement might be renewed any time soon.
How are the pandas returning to China?
The return journey for Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and baby Xiao Qi Ji has been sponsored by FedEx and now has a major following. As a result, each step along the way they have been loaded into specialized transportation and taken to “Air Panda” which will be leaving from Dulles International Airport.
You can track the panda’s flight if you choose by tracking the journey with the flight code N886FD. The flight will go directly from Dulles International Airport to Anchorage Airport in Alaska, where it will make a brief refueling stop and the Pandas will have expert handlers check on their condition, and then will continue to their new home and final destination of Chengdu, China.