China welcomes US-born giant panda home

Added On February 23, 2017

The flight, painted with picture of a giant bamboo-eating panda, landed at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in Sichuan Province at around 7 p.m. local time. 

Bao Bao will stay in quarantine for a month in a 100-square-meter enclosure at the Dujiangyan base of the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda in Chengdu.

The public will be able to see Bao Bao when she is given a clean bill of health following her quarantine. 

Bao Bao, which means "precious" or "treasure" in Chinese, was born in August 2013 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington D.C., the second panda born there. 

Her parents Mei Xiang and Tian Tian moved to the American zoo in 2000 under a collaboration agreement between China and the United States.

According to the agreement, panda cubs born in the United States to parents on loan from China must be returned to China.

Bao Bao is the eleventh overseas-born panda to be returned to China. Before her departure, tens of thousands of fans flocked to Washington zoo to bid farewell over the weekend, causing heavy traffic jams.

Giant pandas are among the world's most vulnerable and rare creatures, with a known population of only 1,600, mostly in China.