China resumes panda diplomacy by sending animal to San Diego Zoo

Giant pandas will be returning to the United States at the San Diego Zoo after nearly all the famous bears in U.S. zoos were sent back to China, restoring a long-standing tradition of furry diplomacy.

Zoo officials told the Associated Press on Thursday that if everything is approved, two bears, a male and female, will arrive by the end of the summer, nearly five years after the last pandas in California were sent back to Beijing.

“We’re very excited and hopeful,” said Megan Owen, vice president of wildlife conservation science within the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “They’ve expressed a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to re-initiate panda cooperation starting with the San Diego Zoo.”

The China Wildlife Conservation Association confirmed
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