By Richa Noriega
The beloved giant panda “Bei Bei” at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C. will depart for China on Tuesday.
According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute website, as part of the agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, all giant panda cubs born at the zoo will move to China when they turn four years old.
Bei Bei, who turned four years old last August 22, will be the only cargo in the direct flight, not counting the 66 pounds of bamboo, snacks, and water, the FedEx reported.
The FedEx Panda Express flies again! We put panda decals on this 777F just for Bei Bei’s ride from Washington DC to China. Bei Bei will be the only cargo on this special direct flight, unless you count the 66 pounds of bamboo, snacks & water. #ByeByeBeiBei https://t.co/m6atXXmSUe pic.twitter.com/GSPBVrZObu
— FedEx (@FedEx) November 16, 2019
In a Tweet on Friday, the Smithsonian Zoo has asked the public for song recommendations for a mixed tape for the 16-hour flight to China. It also invites the public to change the title of the original from “baby” to “Bei Bei.”
If you were a giant panda taking a 16-hour flight to China, what would you want on your playlist? As we say #ByeByeBeiBei with our @NationalZoo, we invite you to change “baby” to “Bei Bei” and share your picks with #BeiBeiMixTape. pic.twitter.com/2n5VuLiXBG
— Smithsonian (@smithsonian) November 15, 2019
“If you were a giant panda taking a 16-hour flight to China, what would you want on your playlist? As we say #ByeByeBeiBei with our @NationalZoo, we invite you to change “baby” to “Bei Bei” and share your picks with #BeiBeiMixTape,” the Smithsonian Zoo said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Steve Monfort, the zoo director said that Bei Bei is considered part of their family and learned a lot from him.
“Bei Bei is part of our family. Our team has cared for him, learned from him and, along with millions, loved watching him grow,” he said.
The giant pandas are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservative of Nature (IUCN).
“The population remains vulnerable to threats from disease, climate change, and habitat loss. Scientists in China are working to increase the number of wild pandas and their habitat,” the Smithsonian Zoo said.
The zoo has been holding a farewell celebration at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo from November 11 to 18.