DC Nation­al Zoo pan­das to depart for Chi­na by end of the year

DC National Zoo pandas to depart for China by end of the year

The Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Nation­al Zoo will soon say good­bye to its famous giant pan­das after liv­ing in the U.S. cap­i­tal for over two decades.
Giant pan­das Mei Xiang and Tian Tian arrived at the zoo in Decem­ber 2000 and will return to Chi­na after their lat­est stay renew­al expires on Dec. 7. The zoo’s Giant Pan­da Coop­er­a­tive Research and Breed­ing agree­ment with the Chi­na Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Asso­ci­a­tion has been renewed three times since 2010.
“Pan­da Palooza,” the Nation­al Zoo’s nine-day event, began on Sept. 23. The event includes pan­da-themed activ­i­ties, a scav­enger hunt, live music, and film screen­ings. It is a chance for peo­ple to bid farewell to the two giant pan­das and Xiao Qi Ji, their fourth cub, who was born in 2020.
How­ev­er, the event could be cut short if the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment shuts down on Oct. 1, the last day of “Pan­da Palooza.” Giv­en that the Nation­al Zoo is part of the Smith­son­ian, and the Smith­son­ian will have to close in the event of a gov­ern­ment shut­down, it is pos­si­ble the “Pan­da Palooza” event may end ear­ly.

Giant Pan­da cub Tai Shan cud­dles with his moth­er, Mei Xiang, while they eat mel­on …