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The student news site of Day Creek Intermediate School

The Day Creek Howl

The student news site of Day Creek Intermediate School

The Day Creek Howl

The student news site of Day Creek Intermediate School

The Day Creek Howl

Pandas are leaving American zoos

Pandas are leaving American zoos
Ron Cogswell

 

The National Zoo’s three pandas – Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and Xiao Qi Ji – are heading back to China by early December after the U.S. failed to renew the three-year contract. Beijing lends 65 pandas to 19 countries in “cooperative research programs”. They are then returned when they are old or if they are 3 to 4 year old cubs. The first two legally acquired pandas were part of a gift exchange from Mao Zedong to Richard Nixon. Later, Nixon struck a 50-year agreement as part of “Panda Diplomacy.”

The Chinese government leases pandas for 10 years before needing to renew the lease. The fee goes from $1 million to $2 million per pair, not including other facility fees.

The San Diego Zoo returned its pandas in 2019, followed by the Memphis Zoo earlier this year. This comes after high tension between Beijing and Washington D.C. or other Western governments – the Chinese spy balloon, U.S. sanctions on China and multiple restrictions on Tiktok in the government.

The only zoos to have their pandas are the National Zoo and Atlanta Zoo. Both loans are expiring by early December and mid-late 2024 respectively. It is very unlikely that the loans are going to be extended with friction between the two governments.

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About the Contributor
David B., SODC/Big News
David likes to write. But in most of his spare time he enjoys playing games and reading articles to learn about new things. He also enjoys school and learning new things. He wants to be a professor.