The bad news first:
Bao Bao, the Giant panda born at the National Zoo in August 2013, will be moving to China this winter. The pandas don’t belong to the Zoo, they’re on loan from China—thanks, btw to one Richard M. Nixon—and the loan agreement stipulates that all panda cubs born at the zoo move to China before they turn four years old. Bao Bao’s birthday was 23 August 2013.
For my family, no visit to the Zoo is complete without a long visit to the panda habitats, and to their endlessly photogenic inhabitants. You can see why, in this National Zoo video of the pandas during last year’s blizzard.
Bao Bao will fly to China in early 2017. For the time being, you can still watch Bao Bao and her family on the Zoo’s Panda Cams.
So, what’s the good news?
Well, even though Bao Bao’s leaving, we’ll still have her parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, and her younger brother, Bei Bei, to keep us smiling.
And Toronto isn’t all that far away: