Home News Welcome back, pandas! Two furry diplomats head to Washington Zoo

Welcome back, pandas! Two furry diplomats head to Washington Zoo


The six months without pandas were long and scary. Washington’s most famous symbol Soft diplomacy, actually, but this unbearable (sorry) drought will soon be over.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute announced Wednesday that two new furry diplomats are about to fly from China to the United States. The two giant pandas, Baoli and Qingbao, will fly to the United States before the end of the year, according to the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. The zoo said in a statement.

They are both 2 years old this year — still young for the Washington power couple — and their arrival will follow the November departure of two adult pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, ​​who were grandparents to male panda Baoli.

The panda swap is a feature of the Smithsonian’s long-standing agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association. When the agreement to keep three pandas in the United States expired last year, panda lovers and diplomats worried about whether tensions between China and Washington would prevent the program from continuing.

At a diplomatic summit in San Francisco last November, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, hinted that these “Friendship Messenger“The agreement between the two countries could return to the U.S. It turns out that the two zoos reached another agreement without the help of high-level diplomacy, according to officials familiar with the agreement who were not authorized to speak publicly about such sensitive issues. The San Diego Zoo will also receive a pair of giant pandas, and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs comfirmed Earlier this month.

The agreement signed between Washington and Beijing is intended to promote the breeding and care of giant pandas, and each birth is closely watched and celebrated. If Washington’s past pandas are any indication, the two new pandas will arrive in Washington on a special FedEx plane to a warm welcome.

The newlyweds are from Washington: Bao Li’s mother, BabyBorn in the capital, Michelle Obama attended the naming ceremony of her brother, Bebe, in 2015.

There is also mourning over loss. Newborn panda cubs are about the size of a stick of butter and are extremely fragile — they are small and pink and can be easily injured by their human keepers or mothers. Because they are born with almost no hair, their body temperature must be constantly regulated. When they urinate or defecate, human helpers must ensure their fluid and nutrient levels are at healthy levels.

Inside these heavily guarded premises—there’s also a Panda Live camera, but you probably know that— Bao Bao is a success story By the time she was sent to China in 2017, she had become a celebrity.

While living in Washington, Meixiang and Tiantian gave birth to four cubs. Surviving beyond infancyTheir panda cub, Taishan, was born in 2005 and sent to China in 2010. Mourn the loss of BearMei Xiang gave birth to the youngest panda cub, Xiao Qiji, during the pandemic, and scientists had believed that she was infertile at this age.

The Smithsonian said the terms of the latest agreement are similar to previous ones. Baoli and Qingbao and any cubs they may have will remain Chinese property, and any cubs born in Washington must be returned by age 4. $25 million fundraising campaign to help increase the budget for the program.

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