There is some bad news for all Panda lovers in the US. The national Zoo in Washington, DC, which has honored three giant Pandas for the past 50 years, will shortly return them to china. According to the Bloomberg, the three Pandas will return in December after a three-year arrangement with China’s Wildlife agency expired.
With the ones in Washington DC gone, only four giant pandas will remain in the Atlanta Zoo, which is slated to relocate by next year unless both countries reach an agreement, according to the article.
Chee Meng Tan, an associate professor of panda diplomacy at Malaysia’s University of Nottingham, told the Washington Post, “This is perhaps Beijing’s way of signalling to the West that they may not be very happy with how things are going.”
He said, “This may be one way of telling people that you’re not treating us very well, so maybe we’ll pull out our pandas.”
Previously, the pandas from San Diego and Memphis had gone in 2019 and April 2023, respectively, according to the newspaper.
The Pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian Have Also Served as Entertainment Over the Years
Beyond polictical purposes, the pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, have also served as entertainment over the years. Their 3 year old male cub, Xiao Qi Ji, has recently become a popular draw for zoo visitors . Some experts have also claimed that that the decision to return the Pandas may not have been exclusively for political motives. hey have progressed to the point that pandas are no longer classified as a “Endangered Species.”
As a result, they believe China is attempting to construct a network of national parks and refuges. This may have contributed to the fact that they no longer need to ship pandas abroad to conserve and reproduce.