Remember Logan’s Run, the 1970s dystopian science fiction movie? When characters in the film turned 30, they were made to ride the Carousel for a ritual “renewal”. And after that, they were never seen again.
Something similar happens to pandas at the National Zoo.
Through an oversight on the part of the authors of the Constitution, pandas born at the Zoo do not automatically gain US citizenship, despite being born on American soil. Fixing this should be a priority in any immigration reform legislation.
In addition to paying a million dollars a year to “rent” adult pandas from China, the Zoo is charged an extra one-time “baby tax” of between $400,000 and $600,000 for any panda born at the Zoo.
And sometime between the baby’s third and fourth birthday, it’s sent to China.
Bao Bao, the Zoo’s female giant panda cub, was born on 23 August 2013. This will be her last weekend in Washington. She’ll be shipped to China by FedEx on 21 February 2017.
On 21 February 2017 departure date, the Zoo will be closed to the public from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. You can watch Bao Bao’s exit on the National Zoo’s Facebook page, which will show her 10 a.m. departure from the Zoo and her 1:30 p.m. departure from Dulles Airport. All times EST.
(All photos from the National Zoo)