New home as America says bye-bye to Bei Bei

Business | 22 Nov 2019

US-born giant panda Bei Bei has arrived in southwestern China after a 16-hour flight, with plenty of bamboo for him to munch on as he settled into his new home.

The four-year-old cub, whose name means "precious, treasure" in Mandarin, appeared to be contentedly eating and ambling around his new cage at a research center in Sichuan province, according to images broadcast yesterday by CGTN.

Bei Bei travelled aboard a specially outfitted Boeing 777F cargo plane called the "Panda Express," accompanied by his keeper from the National Zoo in Washington.

China lends pandas to zoos around the world - a program dubbed "panda diplomacy".

Once young pandas reach the age of four, they are repatriated to sanctuaries in China.

Bei Bei was welcomed "home" yesterday with a ceremony at the Bifengxia Panda Base in Sichuan, reported.

Fans had lined up at the National Zoo to bid the cub farewell before his departure.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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