Bei Bei the panda has arrived in Chengdu, China on the specially chartered “FedEx Panda Express” Boeing 777 Freighter.
The four-year-old male was born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, and is the son of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, who reside at the National Zoo in Washington DC.
Accompanied by a panda keeper and a vet, Bei Bei was placed in a special crate and travelled in a custom-decaled 777F from Washington Dulles airport to Chengdu with a supply of treats including bamboo, apples and pears, leafeater biscuits, cooked sweet potatoes and water.
Karen Reddington, president of FedEx Express Asia Pacific says: “We are proud to have once again served as the trusted carrier, which is a testament to our operational strength and ability to handle highly sophisticated shipments that need special attention and requirements. We are looking forward to seeing Bei Bei adapt well to his new environment.”
Prior to the flight, Bei Bei spent a month getting used to the crate, and upon arrival in Chengdu, new keepers from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda drove him to Bifengxia Panda Base where he will stay in quarantine for 30 days.
Smithsonian keepers will remain with Bei Bei for a short time as he acclimates to his new home in China.