FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., will donate its logistical services to transport a giant panda named Bao Bao from the United States to China on 21 February 2017. Working in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, FedEx Express will fly the panda on a direct charter flight non-stop from Washington’s Dulles International Airport to Chengdu, China.
Bao Bao, a female panda born in August 2013 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, is the offspring of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, both currently living in the U.S. Bao Bao will be placed in a special crate provided by FedEx and travel onboard a custom-decaled FedEx Express 777 Freighter, known as the “FedEx Panda Express.”
“The transport of Bao Bao represents the seventh time that FedEx is transporting a giant panda, a national treasure of China,” said Eddy Chan, senior vice president, FedEx China. “We are honored and proud to serve as the trusted carrier. Using our extensive global network and strong operations, our professional team will surely deliver Bao Bao to Chengdu, China fast and securely.”
In addition to donating all the necessary air transportation for Bao Bao, FedEx Express will provide ground and logistical support in Washington, D.C., including a vehicle to deliver the panda from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo to the airport. FedEx pilots, drivers and operations specialists selected to transport the panda are among the company’s most seasoned team members.
FedEx Express, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, and the China organizers will work collaboratively to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to provide a safe and comfortable flight for Bao Bao. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is already preparing the panda for her move to make sure she is comfortable and safe throughout her journey. Part of the preparations includes acclimating Bao Bao to a travel crate.
One panda keeper and one veterinarian from the zoo have been granted special flight privileges to accompany Bao Bao onboard the aircraft. The panda team will continuously monitor Bao Bao during the trip and will travel with a supply of water, bamboo and her favorite treats, including apples, pears and cooked sweet potatoes.
Upon arrival in Chengdu, Bao Bao will be driven to one of the bases run by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. A panda keeper from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo will follow and remain with Bao Bao for a short time while she acclimates to her new home.
Due to security regulations, the departure and arrival events for the panda will be closed to the general public.