The last pandas at any US zoo are expected to leave Atlanta for China this fall

ATLANTA (AP) — The final U.S. zoo with pandas in its care expects to say goodbye to the 4 large bears this fall.

Zoo Atlanta is making preparations to return panda mother and father Lun Lun and Yang Yang to China together with their American-born twins Ya Lun and Xi Lun, zoo officers stated Friday. There isn’t a particular date for the switch but, they stated, however it should doubtless occur between October and December.

The 4 Atlanta pandas have been the final in the USA because the Nationwide Zoo in Washington returned three pandas to China final November. Different American zoos have despatched pandas again to China as mortgage agreements lapsed amid heightened diplomatic tensions between the 2 nations.

Atlanta obtained Lun Lun and Yang Yang from China in 1999 as a part of a 25-year mortgage settlement that can quickly expire.

Ya Lun and Xi Lun, born in 2016, are the youngest of seven pandas born at Zoo Atlanta since their mother and father arrived. Their siblings are already within the care of China’s Chengdu Analysis Middle of Large Panda Breeding.

It’s attainable that America will welcome a brand new panda pair earlier than the Atlanta bears depart. The San Diego Zoo stated final month that employees members not too long ago traveled to China to fulfill pandas Yun Chuan and Xin Bao, which might arrive in California as quickly as this summer time.

Zoo Atlanta officers stated in a information launch they need to be capable to share “important advance discover” earlier than their pandas depart. As as to whether Atlanta would possibly see host any future pandas, “no discussions have but taken place with companions in China,” zoo officers stated.

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