Mumbai, October 1: The Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo is saying goodbye to its famous giant pandas, who will be sent to China before the end of the year. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian came in Washington in 2000, and Xiao Qi Ji, their fourth cub, was born in 2020. After their births made a nationwide sensation, Xiao Qi Ji's siblings were transferred to China when they were 2 or 3 years old.

The three last giant pandas at the National Zoo will be reunited with their family in China on December 7, and the zoo has been conducting "Panda Palooza," a week-long event dedicated to giving their thousands of loyal admirers one more chance to see them. Endangered Red Panda Born in England's Paradise Wildlife Park, Watch Video of 'Little Red' Bringing a Ray of Hope!

On a recent rainy Saturday, many zoogoers came to visit the pandas, engage in family-friendly panda-themed programmes, and watch the three gigantic pandas consume a frozen fruit and bamboo cake. Knowing that such scenes will eventually come to an end is bittersweet for those who retain them.

The National Zoo has held giant pandas since 1972, when former Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong sent then-President Richard Nixon a pair, Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling, in exchange for a pair of arctic musk oxen as goodwill gestures when the nations established diplomatic ties. Rare All-White Panda in China Video: Albino Panda Seen Wandering Around in Wolong National Nature Reserve.

In the sake of panda conservation, Chinese wildlife organisations began lending pandas to other nations rather than donating them in 1984. The lending arrangements enabled researchers from other countries to become involved in panda conservation science while also raising funds for conservation initiatives in China. The giant panda was removed off the list of endangered species in 2016.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 01, 2023 08:58 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website