Bye Bye, Bao Bao! Panda leaving National Zoo

Posted at 6:01 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-20 18:34:12-05

All aboard the Panda Express. Bao Bao, the 3-year-old panda cub at the National Zoo, has a new home in China.

Her flight leaves from Washington Dulles International Airport on Tuesday morning. It will take 16 hours to get to the destination.

Panda Express, a FedEx plane, keeps it first class for the famous panda.  She'll be one of the only passengers, along with a keeper and a veterinarian. And there will be plenty to snack on. The zoo says Bao Bao is traveling with 55 pounds of bamboo, 5 pounds of apples and 2 pounds of sweet potatoes.

Bao Bao was born to Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, who are on loan from China. Once settled in her new home, Bao Bao will become part of a breeding program.

Bao Bao's younger brother Bei Bei will remain at the zoo, along with his parents.