Giant panda Bei Bei eats bamboo at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park before heading back to China, Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Michael A. McCoy)

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

Bei Bei the panda is headed back to China Tuesday, after a stint at at U.S. zoo.

According to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., Bei Bei is the third giant panda born at the zoo to move to China.

The panda is part of a cooperative breeding program with the China Wildlife Conservation Association. As part of the program, all giant panda cubs born at the zoo move to China when they turn four years old.

Bei Bei was born in November 2015, and his name means “precious treasure” in Mandarin Chinese. He was named by then-First Lady Michelle Obama and First Lady of the People’s Republic of China, Peng Liyuan.

Through the years, the zoo has kept the public updated on Bei Bei’s adventures, from discovering snow to falling out of trees, and is re-sharing them on Twitter with the the hashtag #ByeByeBeiBei.

Giant pandas were upgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable” species status in 2016, and the zoo said Bei Bei is the first generation of pandas to live at the zoo as an ambassador for an increasing wild population.

Anyone who wants can track Bei Bei’s flight on the “FedEx Panda Express”: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/FDX9759.

VIDEO: San Diego Zoo says farewell to last 2 giant pandas


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mount Cain planning a modified winter season for north Island ski and snowboarders

Skiing is a COVID-friendly activity, but shared public spaces require adjustment

Remote B.C. tourism lodge staffed for coastal clean up instead of wilderness tours

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to exotic wildlife — and international trash

BC Hydro responds to all-day North Island power outage complaints

Dear Editor, I understand the frustration an all-day power outage like the… Continue reading

Report Card: North Island Secondary School named fourth fastest-improving school by Fraser Institute

NISS is listed among a total of 22 schools that have shown improvement in the annual report.

Town of Port McNeill’s annual Halloween fireworks show cancelled

‘This has been a horrible year for having to cancel many things that are near and dear to us’

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

Most Read