SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego Zoo is saying goodbye to its pandas.
Officials announced Monday that the two giant pandas at the zoo -- 27-year-old Bai Yun and her 6-year-old son Xiao Liwu -- are being sent to China in April.
The pandas’ departure will likely end the zoo’s popular panda exhibit. The final day to see Bai Yun and Xiao Liwu will be April 27, but zoo officials said there will be events to celebrate the pandas in the preceding weeks.
The San Diego Zoo had been in a conservation and research agreement with Chinese officials over the last 25 years, but the collaboration will end next month.
Douglas G. Myers, president/CEO of San Diego Zoo Global, said, “The San Diego Zoo was honored to be chosen by conservationists in China to work with them to develop a new model for species conservation. The panda program we began together demonstrates how powerful these collaborative efforts can be. We are extremely grateful to China for sharing the pandas with us and offering us the chance to serve this species in a leadership role.”
San Diego Zoo Global Chief Operating Officer Shawn Dixon added, “Although we are sad to see these pandas go, we have great hopes for the future. Working with our colleagues in China, San Diego Zoo Global is ready to make a commitment for the next stage of our panda program.”