Pair of giant pandas on their way from China to San Diego Zoo under conservation partnership

San Diego Zoo Pandas
Posted at 10:41 AM, Jun 27, 2024

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A pair of giant pandas are on their way from China to the U.S., where they will be cared for at the San Diego Zoo as part of an ongoing conservation partnership between the two nations, officials said Wednesday.

Officials with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance were on hand in China for a farewell ceremony commemorating the departure of the giant pandas, Yun Chuan and Xin Bao.

The celebration included cultural performances, video salutations from Chinese and American students and a gift exchange among conservation partners, the zoo said in a statement. After the ceremony, the giant pandas began their trip to Southern California.

“This farewell celebrates their journey and underscores a collaboration between the United States and China on vital conservation efforts," Paul Baribault, the wildlife alliance president, said in a statement. "Our long-standing partnership with China Wildlife Conservation Association has been instrumental in advancing giant panda conservation, and we look forward to continuing our work together to ensure the survival and thriving of this iconic species.”

It could be several weeks before the giant pandas will be viewable to the public in San Diego, officials said.

Yun Chuan, a mild-mannered male who’s nearly 5 years old, has connections to California, the wildlife alliance said previously. His mother, Zhen Zhen, was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2007 to parents Bai Yun and Gao Gao.

Xin Bao is a nearly 4-year-old female described as “a gentle and witty introvert with a sweet round face and big ears.”

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has a nearly 30-year partnership with leading conservation institutions in China focused on protecting and recovering giant pandas and the bamboo forests they depend on.

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