The final pandas residing in the United States to be sent back to China in the autumn

A Farewell to the Atlanta Pandas: A Look at the End of a 25-Year Loan Agreement

Zoo Atlanta is preparing to send the panda family back to China, including parents Lun Lun and Yang Yang, and their American-born twins Ya Lun and Xi Lun. While a specific date for their transfer has not been set, it is expected to take place between October and December.

The four pandas at Zoo Atlanta are the only ones remaining in the United States since three pandas were sent back to China by the Washington National Zoo last November. Other American zoos have also sent pandas back to China as their loan agreements have expired amidst escalating diplomatic tensions between the two nations.

Lun Lun and Yang Yang arrived in Atlanta from China in 1999 as part of a 25-year loan agreement, which is now coming to an end. Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the youngest of the seven pandas born at Zoo Atlanta, have siblings who have already returned to China to the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Center.

It is possible that the United States may welcome a new pair of pandas before the Atlanta bears leave. The San Diego Zoo has stated that their staff recently visited China to meet pandas Yun Chuan and Xin Bao, who could arrive in California this summer.

Zoo officials have mentioned that they will provide ample notice before the pandas’ departure from Atlanta. As for the possibility of welcoming new pandas in the future, discussions have not yet taken place with Chinese partners.

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