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US-born panda Bao Bao lands in China after 16-hour flight


Bao Bao has arrived in China (AP/J Scott Applewhite)

Bao Bao has arrived in China (AP/J Scott Applewhite)

Bao Bao has arrived in China (AP/J Scott Applewhite)

US-born panda cub Bao Bao has arrived in China after leaving the National Zoo in Washington.

The three-year-old panda landed in Chengdu in central China on Wednesday evening after a 16-hour flight that was described by pilots and a zoo keeper as having gone smoothly.

Bao Bao left the zoo in a special crate and began her journey from Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia with a keeper and a veterinarian.

In preparation for the trip, keepers packed Bao Bao's favourite foods, including bamboo, apples and sweet potatoes.

The panda's keeper, Marty Dearie, said at the airport in Chengdu that the flight went well.

"She ate and slept the whole flight and we have no concerns, none at all," he said.

Bao Bao, whose name means "precious" or "treasure", will first go through a month-long quarantine at the Dujiangyan base of the China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Pandas in Chengdu, it was reported.

A 1,100-square foot enclosure has been prepared for the panda cub at the base. The enclosure includes a lounge and a playground.

Bao Bao will eventually join a panda breeding programme.


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