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Atlanta zoo set to return last giant pandas in US to China

The Atlanta Zoo is Preparing to send The zoo confirmed in a press release Friday that the giant panda had been returned to China following a lawsuit with other states.

“As Zoo Atlanta’s Giant Panda Agreement with China expires in 2024, preliminary plans are underway for Lun Lun, Yangyang, Yarun, and Xilun to travel to China later this year,” the release states.

“Zoo Atlanta has applied for an international travel permit for the panda, and the bear is scheduled to travel to China during the fourth quarter of 2024,” the zoo added. “At this time, no further specific information regarding the timing of the panda migration is available. The timing will be determined in collaboration with our official partners in China.”

Zoo officials spoke about the process for returning pandas on loan from China. per websitethe content is extensive and requires months of planning.

Zoo Atlanta’s panda is the last remaining panda in the United States, as bears from other zoos across the country, including zoos in Memphis, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., recently returned their pandas to China.

But Mayor London Breed announced last month that San Francisco plans to have its own panda next year.

“The City of San Francisco is very excited to welcome giant pandas to the San Francisco Zoo,” Breed said in a statement.

Wu Minglu, executive director of the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), said the association will work with Bay Area city officials to prepare for the arrival of pandas in 2025, according to the Associated Press.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called the bears “messengers of friendship” during a meeting with business executives in the city last November.

Panda exchanges with China began in 1972 under an agreement brokered by then-President Richard Nixon, under which several pandas were loaned to U.S. zoos for research purposes.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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