Caeleb V.

Bao Bao is a female panda that was born on August 23rd, 2013. She lived at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. The 3 year old panda went on a one way plane trip to China. In China she is supposed to join a breeding program and hopefully have some little panda cubs of her own. She left for China on February 21st, 2017. The National Zoo had to let her go now because it is better for pandas to travel in the winter months when it is cool for them. Bao Bao took a 16-hour flight to China. Luckily, she was accompanied by a trainer Marty Dearie veterinarian and Dr. Katherine. Bao Bao was in for a treat when all of her favorite food was brought on the flight, 55 pounds of bamboo, 5 pounds of apples, and 2 pounds of sweet potatoes.That is quite a large abundance of food for one panda. “Most of the flight, we hope she’s going to eat,” said panda keeper Marty Dearie, who traveled with Bao Bao to China. Dearie says pandas spend 13 to 16 hours a day eating. The beloved panda boarded a special FedEx plane just for her, and her fans watched as she left for her new home in China. Brandie Smith, the zoo’s associate director of animal care sciences, said that when Bao Bao was born she remembers “five minutes of pure joy” followed by “weeks of sleeplessness and worry.” Since then, Bao Bao, whose name means “precious treasure” in Chinese, has grown from about the size of an infant to more than 200 pounds, and her keepers describe her personality as “very independent,” sort of like a domestic cat. Pandas in general are in danger due to loss of habitat and poachers. To add to that, pandas are hard to breed in captivity and breeding programs have not been so successful. Hopefully, the breeding program Bao Bao is in is successful, and she will have her own cubs. When Bao Bao leaves the National Zoo will still have some pandas leftover. They will have three in total, two adult pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian and Bao Bao´s younger brother, Bei Bei. The adult pandas arrived on loan in 2000 and Bei Bei was born in 2015. It is truly sad to see a beloved panda move to another country, but it is for the better and hopefully we will see her again someday possibly. Her cubs could possibly even come to the zoo!



National Zoo