San Diego says goodbye to the pandas (again)
Washington, D.C. said goodbye to its beloved pandas — and San Diego feel their pain.
Why it matters: People are fascinated by the animals, with panda cams racking up millions of views and social media making the panda an "internet celebrity," Axios' Shoshana Gordon reports in comic form.
Flashback: San Diegans said goodbye to Bai Yun, a 23-year zoo resident, and her then-6-year-old son Xiao Liwu in 2019, when they returned to China.
- Bai Yun's mate, Gao Gao, left San Diego a year earlier, in 2018.
- Together, they bred five cubs at the San Diego Zoo, all of which returned to China, as NBC 7 reported after the pandas arrived safely in China.
- "They've done a very good job in panda research and conservation, so I think this is a very good thing for continuation of the program in the future," Ambassador Zhang Ping, of the People's Republic of China Los Angeles Consulate, told NBC 7 at the time, leaving the door open to a panda return someday.
What they're saying: While Pandas aren't the only zoo video stars, their refusal to perform for the camera may make humans especially adore them, says retired L.A. Times reporter Tony Perry, who covered San Diego's pandas.
- "There's kind of a Hollywood aloofness," Perry told Axios. "They're the Greta Garbo of the zoo world."
Read the full comic here.
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