Panda express: Bao Bao arrives in China onboard FedEx B777F

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In Photo: The special crate containing giant panda Bao Bao being off-loaded from the FedEx Panda Express.

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., has recently donated the use of its extensive global transportation network to ship a giant panda from the United States to Chengdu, China.

The giant panda Bao Bao landed at China’s Chengdu Shuangliu Airport onboard FedEx B777Freighter—known as the FedEx Panda Express—from Washington, D.C., in the US.

In Photo: Bao Bao, the beloved 3-year-old panda at the National Zoo in Washington, enjoys a final morning in her bamboo-filled habitat before her flight to China to join a panda-breeding program on Tuesday.

Upon arrival, the panda was transported to her new home in Sichuan province, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda’s Dujiangyan City Reserve.

“It’s a great honor for FedEx Express to be able to support this latest mission by donating our expertise and resources, and to be entrusted once again with such a valuable and symbolic shipment,” said Karen Reddington, president of FedExExpress Asia Pacific.

“We’ve assisted with giant panda shipments several times in the past and have considerable experience of managing the process, which involves months of planning and cross-disciplinary teamwork. Transporting Bao Bao is also an act of good global citizenship that leverages our unique network and specialized capabilities to help connect the world.”

The zoo packed up the American-born panda on Tuesday for a one-way flight to Chengdu, China, where the 3-year-old will eventually join a panda-breeding program, The Associated Press (AP) said.

Bao Bao left the zoo in a special crate and began her 16-hour flight to China Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

The cub won’t have to worry about finding overhead bin space or dealing with a talkative seatmate on the 16-hour, nonstop flight. She’ll be the only panda on the plane, traveling with a keeper and a veterinarian.

In preparation for the trip, keepers have packed Bao Bao’s favorite foods, including bamboo, apples and sweet potatoes, AP said.

Bao Bao, a 3-year-old female panda born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, is the offspring of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, both currently living in the US.

FedEx provided a dedicated aircraft to bring Bao Bao’s brother Tai Shan to China in 2010, and her parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, to the United States in 2000.

Bao Bao was born on August 23, 2013, at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. She has been living separately from her mother, Mei Xiang, since March 2015.

Giant pandas are solitary in the wild, and cubs separate from their mothers to establish their own territories between 18 months and 2 years old.

Image Credits: FedEx, AP/J. Scott Applewhite