The United States has sent two American-born giant pandas to China, in an atmosphere of diplomatic detente amid unrelated arms deal tensions.
The longstanding arrangement with the Chinese government which brought parent bears to Washington was to send any offspring back to the bears’ dynastic country of origin.
Tai Shan, a male, was a star attraction in the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washingtion, DC, and his cousin Mei Lan, a female, in Atlanta.
Plenty of bamboo was aimed at making the more than 14 hour flight bearable.
Tai Shan is expected to take part in a breeding program in Ya’an, Sichuan, to make little pandas.
Mai Lan will go to Chengdu.