Giant panda family successfully returns China from US
Published: Nov 10, 2023 02:53 PM
Photo: CCTV News

Photo: CCTV News

With full preparation from both China and the US, giant panda family Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and their 3-year-old son, Xiao Qi Ji safely arrived in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Thursday local time. With giant pandas serving as ambassadors for cultural exchanges, China will continue to strengthen cooperation with relevant countries, including the US, to actively contribute to the promotion of friendship between Chinese and the rest of the world.

The three giant pandas, who were living in the US, safely arrived at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport on Thursday, according to China Central Television (CCTV) News. Accompanied by Chinese veterinarians and breeders, they were transported to the Shenshuping Panda Center in the Wolong National Nature Reserve at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda for closed isolation and quarantine.

Since the launch of the giant panda conservation cooperation and research between China and the US in 1996, positive achievements have been made in areas such as conservation and breeding, disease prevention and control, technical exchanges, and public education. 

Giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian had resided at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington since 2000. In August 2020, Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub named Xiao Qi Ji. During their stay, the panda family received professional care and meticulous attention from the zoo, and the two sides established a good cooperative relationship. According to the agreement between the two sides, the panda family has now returned to China as scheduled.

To ensure the safe and smooth return of the panda family, both China and the US put in place all necessary preparations. China selected senior personnel to travel to the US six months in advance to participate in the panda’s feeding and care, familiarize themselves with the living habits and feeding conditions of the panda family, and assist US experts in conducting behavior training, daily check-ups, and health assessments. 

To prepare for the quarantine and isolation after the pandas’ return to China, the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas set up indoor animal houses, feed processing rooms, outdoor exercise areas, and other facilities in the quarantine area. They also prepared bamboo, bamboo shoots, and supplementary food. 

During the quarantine period, the expert team will be on-site 24 hours a day to provide meticulous feeding, care, and health monitoring, accompanying the panda family to adapt to their lives back in China.

In this year and next, a number of pandas and young cubs will return to China due to expiration of agreements. The National Forestry and Grassland Administration will organize relevant institutions to carefully arrange and orderly carry out the repatriation work, according to CCTV News. 

Giant pandas are rare and endangered  wild animals beloved by people around the world, and they also serve as ambassadors for cultural exchange between China and other countries. In the future, China will continue to strengthen cooperation with relevant countries, including the US, to actively contribute to the protection of endangered species such as giant pandas and the promotion of friendship between Chinese and foreign people.
Global Times