Bei Bei, love. Beloved panda heading to China in style

The twin pandas at Zoo Atlanta, Xi Lun and Ya Lun, are approaching their first birthday on Sept. 3, 2017.

FedEx flying panda from DC to China in specially fitted 777

A giant panda at the Smithsonian National Zoo is leaving the U.S. for China and is traveling in style.

Bei Bei, the 4-year-old giant panda, is being flown from Washington, D.C., to Chengdu, China, on the FedEx Panda Express. Bei Bei was born at the zoo and is moving to China to help grow the world’s giant panda population.

His sister Bao Bao moved there in 2017.

As part of the zoo’s cooperative breeding program with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, all cubs born at the zoo move to China when 4 years old to breed with other pandas, according to the Smithsonian.

Bei Bei was sent off with several celebratory events last week.

Panda Fast Facts

This is the eighth time FedEx’s specially detailed 777F has flown. Chengdu is more than 8,000 miles from Washington, and the 16-hour flight will be made non-stop.

FedEx is donating the transportation, and the only cargo on board will be Bei Bei and his favorite treats: 66 pounds of bamboo, 2 pounds of apples and pears, two bags of leafeater biscuits, 2 pounds of cooked sweet potatoes and lots of water.

China announced a 10,000-square-mile panda preserve to help conserve the panda population.

The zoo’s assistant curator of giant pandas who has cared for Bei Bei since birth and the zoo’s chief veterinarian will also travel on the flight.

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