FedEx Panda Express bringing giant pandas back to Washington, D.C.
by Rockwell Sands @

FedEx “Panda Express” Will Bring Giant Pandas Back to Washington, D.C.

After flying three pandas back to China in November 2023, FedEx Express is set to transport two giant pandas from China to the U.S. National Zoo by the end of 2024

FedEx announced this week that the FedEx “Panda Express” airplane will transport two giant pandas from China to Washington, D.C. The pandas will arrive by the end of the year at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. This trip will mark FedEx’s 11th total flight which has transported giant pandas between China and the United States.

Two Giant Pandas Will Arrive at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo By the End of 2024

The two pandas set to arrive are named Qing Bao and Bao Li. Qing Bao is a two-year-old female, while Bao Li is a two-year-old male. According to FedEx, the company will transport the pandas via a FedEx Express Boeing 777-Freighter, dubbed the “FedEx Panda Express.”

In November 2023, FedEx flew three giant pandas back to China on the same plane. The pandas taken back to China at the time were Bao Li’s grandparents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, as well as their cub, Xiao Qi Ji.

To see photos of Qing Bao and Bao Li and read more about the conservation details of giant pandas, see the National Zoo’s official press release.

A History of Transporting Giant Pandas via FedEx Express

The first pair of giant pandas arrived at the National Zoo in April 1972, following then-President Richard Nixon’s visit to China earlier that year. Over the past two decades, FedEx has transported 15 different giant pandas on 10 separate flights between China and the U.S.

In a statement, Richard W. Smith, president and CEO of FedEx’s Airline and International division, said the following:

“We look forward to once again calling the FedEx Panda Express into service and using our logistical expertise to safely move Qing Bao and Bao Li to Washington, D.C. It’s a privilege to take part in this next phase of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s giant panda program and provide the safest and most comfortable transportation for these beloved animals.”

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