Home > News, Zoogoer > Tai Shan Leaves Zoo Tomorrow!

Tai Shan Leaves Zoo Tomorrow!

Tai Shan enjoys some cake at his farewell celebration this past weekend at the National Zoo. Photo by Jon McRay/FONZ Photo Club.

It’s been panda-monium at the National Zoo ever since we announced Tai Shan’s departure to China. Tomorrow is the big day. The panda will be FedEx-ed to Chengdu and participate in breeding programs there, to enrich the genetic diversity of China’s panda population.

October 4, 2005: Tai Shan gets comfortable in his habitat. Photo Credit: Jessie Cohen/Smithsonian's National Zoo

Tai Shan’s birth was a milestone for the Zoo scientists who’d been toiling for years to perfect the art of artificially inseminating giant pandas in hopes of saving the endangered species. And they have. But Tai Shan technically belongs to China, and his loan to the National Zoo has finally expired after several extensions. Washingtonians have come to regard this beloved bear as a symbol of their city and are heartbroken to see him go.  For more panda photos visit the Zoo’s Flickr page, where you can see a photo timeline of Tai’s life at the Zoo! And NPR’s recent story! And the Zoo’s press release!

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