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Bao Bao Will Leave DC in Early 2017

Bye, bye, Bao Bao. Photograph courtesy Smithsonian's National Zoo.

The giant panda Bao Bao will leave DC in the “first few months of 2017,” Smithsonian’s National Zoo announced Thursday.

Bao Bao was born at the zoo in August 2013. The zoo’s agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association states that all pandas must go to China by the time they turn 4.

Bao Bao, who has had mixed luck with features of the world such as snow and electricity, will live on a base accompanied by a panda keeper for a few months as she gets used to her new home.

The zoo says it “will announce special opportunities for the public to say goodbye and celebrate Bao Bao before she departs for China.” Those will come later.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.