Dukes Dispatch

Providing a Pathway for Student Voice on Campus and Throughout the Community

Breaking News
  • June 4If you are reading this go enjoy your summer!
  • December 15Don't forget to follow the Dukes Dispatch on Tiktok! @dukes_dispatch_ghs
  • April 10Check Out Our New Stories! New Stories Posted Every Two Weeks!!

Dukes Dispatch

Dukes Dispatch


This poll has ended.

Which is your favorite flavor?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Pandas are Returning to D.C.

Since the first couple arrived in 1972, giant pandas have been one of the main draws of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. These bears were a gift of friendship from China and resided in the zoo for decades before returning to China in late 2023. Since then, the former panda house has sat empty as visitors would pass by, remembering the three magnificent bears that used to occupy the bamboo-filled enclosure. But now, the pandas are returning to D.C.! The director of the zoo has announced that the zoo will be getting two new young pandas by the end of this year. 


The Chinese government has been donating or lending pandas to zoos all around the world for many years. This approach, which has been dubbed “panda diplomacy,” frequently takes place in conjunction with trade agreements or other diplomatic engagements. However, as the U.S.-China relationship has declined recently, China has stopped funding American zoos with panda loans. But now the future looks brighter for American zoos hoping to house pandas, as the San Diego Zoo is also expected to receive pandas soon. 


The new panda loan is on similar terms as the previous one. The loan will last ten years, although these loans could and have been extended. Any panda cubs born at the zoo must be sent back to China when they turn four years old. In addition, the National Zoo will pay one million dollars a year to China in exchange for the pandas. The money will go towards research and conservation efforts. 


Both of the bears heading to D.C. are two years old, a male and a female respectively. Their names are Bao Li and Qing Bao. Bao Li’s grandparents, Tian Tian, and Mei Xiang, previously lived at the zoo before being returned to China in 2023, and his mother, Bao Bao, was born in 2013 before being sent to China in 2017. 


According to experts, since the bears are still relatively young, they will be playful and will want to spend a lot of time climbing trees and playing with toys, which should be quite the adorable sight for visitors in the coming years. The pandas have been the most popular animal at the National Zoo for years, and people are delighted to see that they’re making a return to D.C. No exact date has yet been determined for when the pandas will arrive at the zoo, but one thing is for sure: We can’t wait to see the National Zoo’s new panda pair!

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jaidyn Abner
Jaidyn Abner, Staff Reporter
I’m Jaidyn, I’m 16 years old and I’m a sophomore at Gloucester High School. This is my firsttime taking journalism, and I took it so I can write about what I love. I moved here from Oregonabout 4 years ago now, and while I do enjoy Virginia and cherish the connections I’ve madehere, a part of me will always miss the pacific northwest. After high school I plan to go to collegeto study either sequential art, animation, or film/screenwriting.

Comments (0)

All Dukes Dispatch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *