Home > News, Photography, Zoogoer > Tai Shan Flies to China

Tai Shan Flies to China

Feb. 4, 2010-Tai Shan, D.C.'s beloved giant panda, leaves the National Zoo and heads to Dulles airport in a special FedEx truck. There he will board the China-bound Panda Express with Mei Lan, a panda from Zoo Atlanta.

It was an emotional day, even for seasoned Zoo staff accustomed to animals coming and going.  But Tai Shan is different. His departure ellicted tearful farewells from school children and maintenance workers alike. “He’s an exceptional animal,” said associate director of animal care Don Moore in the public affairs office, as we watched the panda board the plane on live CNN.

Feb. 4, 2010-Tai Shan leaves the National Zoo in a FedEx truck bound for Dulles, where he'll board the FedEx Panda Express, a special 777, and fly to Chengdu, China.

I arrived at the Zoo early this morning, though not as early as media who got there at 4, and eventually stationed myself on top of a big green thing and snapped a couple shots as the truck pulled into Connecticut Avenue traffic. The street was unexpectedly quiet, and noone threw themselves in front of the FedEx truck, which was good. My goal was to get both the FedEx truck and the Zoo sign in the frame, which I achieved at least once.

Feb. 4, 2010-The FedEx truck carrying D.C.'s favorite giant panda pulls onto Connecticut Avenue and heads to Dulles airport where Tai Shan boarded the Panda Express and flew to Chengdu, China.

Categories: News, Photography, Zoogoer
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