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China welcomes U.S.-born panda back home

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

02-23-2017 07:03 BJT

CHENGDU, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- A charter flight carrying Bao Bao, a giant panda born in the United States, landed in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan province Wednesday evening.

After a 16 and a half hour flight, the three-year-old female was greeted by experts at the airport as soon as the black and white painted plane came to a stop. Accompanied by her American keeper Marty Dearie, she looked well.

Bao Bao will stay in quarantine for a month in a 100-square-meter enclosure at the Dujiangyan base of the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda in Chengdu, according to Tang Cheng, Bao Bao's keeper during her quarantine

"The public will be able to see Bao Bao after she is given a clean bill of health following her quarantine," Tang said.

Tang cleaned Bao Bao's new home on Wednesday morning, and prepared meal for her in the afternoon. She will have bamboo from her hometown, apple, carrot and steamed corn bread for her welcoming feast.

Bao Bao, which means "precious" or "treasure" in Chinese, was born on August 23, 2013 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington D.C., the second panda to be born there. She is the eleventh overseas-born panda to return to China.

Bao Bao's mother Mei Xiang and father Tian Tian moved to the zoo in 2000 under a collaboration agreement between China and the United States. According to the agreement, panda cubs born in the United States to parents on loan from China must be returned to China before they are four years old.

Their first born, Tai Shan, came in 2005, and their third, Bei Bei, was born in 2015. The mating pair and the youngest cub remain in Washington.

China has panda collaborations with 17 zoos in 12 countries. Currently a total of 43 giant pandas are living abroad.


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