'Panda Express' to take off for China

 

For those of you who think of Panda Express as a mall-based Chinese Restaurant, here's a surprise. The name also works for FedEx's very-special specialty, transporting giant pandas to China.

A FedEx plane will take giant panda Bei Bei on 15-plus hour flight from the U.S. to China.

All the giant pandas in zoos outside China are actually Chinese residents on loan from the China Wildlife Conservation Society, and the deal includes a requirements that any cubs born in captivity be sent to China once they reach age four.

So, last week, FedEx rolled out its 777 Freighter with the custom panda paint job to take Bei Bei from the National Zoo in Washington to China, following in the footsteps of older siblings who made the trip in 2010 and 2017. His parents arrived in the U.S. via FedEx in 2000.

Bei Bei will be the only passenger on the flight, but he won't be alone—a dedicated crew including a keeper and a veterinarian will make the 15-hour flight with him, keeping him supplied with treats such as apples, carrots, sweet potatoes and, of course, bamboo. Lots of it: 66 pounds.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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