Apr 29, 2024 - Science

First look: San Diego's new panda pair

Yun Chuan, a giant panda headed to San Diego, eats bamboo

Yun Chuan, a giant panda headed to the San Diego Zoo this summer. Photo: Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo via AP

We've got photos of the giant panda pair heading to the San Diego Zoo after conservation and care officials recently visited China to meet them.

Why it matters: The celeb-status bears will draw bigger crowds, more money and a renewed research focus on the "vulnerable" population, bolstering conservation efforts.

Driving the news: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance officials who are focused on conservation and animal care went to the Wolong and Bifengxia panda bases in the Sichuan province to meet Yun Chuan and Xin Bao.

  • Yun Chuan (pronounced yoon chu-an) is a 5-year-old male whose mother, Zhen Zhen, was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2007.
  • His grandmother, Bai Yun, lived at the zoo for 23 years.
  • Xin Bao (pronounced sing bao) is a nearly 4-year-old female described as a "gentle and witty introvert."
Xin Bao, walking in a panda base in China
Xin Bao is headed to the San Diego Zoo this summer. Photo: Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo via AP

State of play: The wildlife alliance officials were in China to meet with counterparts from the China Wildlife Conservation Association about potential research programs to protect and conserve giant pandas, per a news release from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

  • They also discussed specialized care and nutrition programs for Yun Chuan and Xin Bao.

What's next: The giant pandas' arrival date still isn't certain, but the wildlife alliance says it's working through the necessary steps and hopes for a summer arrival date.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the panda's name is Yun Chuan (not Yun Chuan Bin).

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