WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo will say goodbye to giant panda Bao Bao, who is headed to her new home in China, with several days of festivities beginning Feb. 16 that offer plenty of opportunities to see her one last time.
Bao Bao, 3, will be welcomed aboard the FedEx Panda Express for safe travels to Chengdu, China, on Feb. 21. One keeper and one veterinarian will fly with the panda to monitor her during the trip and feed Bao Bao her favorite treats, including bamboo, apples, pears and cooked sweet potatoes.
The move is part of a cooperative program with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, which requires that all cubs born at the Zoo head to China by their fourth birthday. Bao Bao will potentially enter the country's breeding program after she turns 5.
The zoo is sending Bao Bao off with a Reddit chat, Facebook painting session, an ice cake party and many chances to watch her enjoy her snacks.
Visit the National Zoo website to learn more about the celebratory events planned leading up to Bao Bao’s departure.