New home as America says bye-bye to Bei BeiBusiness | 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.