It's bye-bye for Bei Bei.
The giant panda, whose name means precious treasure, that won the hearts of panda-loving fans is being packed up and sent to China.
Fans of the panda have been lining up at the Smithsonian's National Zoo to say goodbye to the panda that many have watched grow from a cub to a 4-year-old bear ready to be relocated to his new home, WJLA reported.
While the National Zoo breeds the bears, it has an agreement with the China Wildlife Conversation Association to send the pandas born and raised in the U.S. to China to be part of the panda breeding program, The Washington Post reported.
His older siblings Bao Bao and Tai Shang made their journeys in 2017 and 2010, the Post reported.
Bei Bei leaves behind his parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, and will be accompanied on the FedEX flight, dubbed "Panda Express" by a panda keeper and a veterinarian, WJLA 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
He won't be able to roam the plane, but will be in a steel and Plexiglass enclosure with all of his toys and food he needs for the 16-hour flight, The Washington Post reported.
The zoo has been prepping for the trip for about two months, USA Today reported.
"The panda team will continuously monitor Bei Bei during the trip," the zoo said in an announcement, according to The Washington Post.
Once he arrives in China, he'll be taken to the Bifengxia Panda Base which is run by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, USA Today reported. The team will work with the team in China to help Bei Bei adjust.
For more on the zoo's giant panda program, click here.
To follow Bei Bei's journey, click here.
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