Panda Diplomacy Back On: China Agrees to Send Bears to Two US Zoos

Apr 24, 2024

China To Send 2 Pandas To Two US Zoos

Few things have the power to make people grin quite like the roly-poly, black-and-white fuzzitude of panda bears. Perhaps that’s why San Francisco Mayor London Breed was all smiles this week. She announced that a pair of bears is on its way to her city’s zoo.  

Breed said she’s thrilled to welcome giant pandas to the San Francisco Zoo. It’s an honor that our city has been chosen for the first time to be a long-term home for giant pandas,” she said in a statement.   

The bamboo-munching celebs will arrive in 2025. But just having China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) sign on the dotted line is being hailed as a win. Tensions over global trade and Taiwan’s sovereignty have frayed US/China ties. Recently, the Asian nation has called many of its US-based pandas home. The loan to San Francisco, coupled with a deal signed in February with the San Diego Zoo, has raised hopes that China still sees friendly ties with the US as worthwhile.     

At present, there are only four pandas in the US. They're all at the Atlanta Zoo. China pulled pandas from a zoo in Memphis, Tennessee, last year. It did the same in Washington DC. The absence of pandas at the National Zoo in Washington has been keenly felt. It had hosted the first pandas ever loaned to a zoo in North America. Their presence at the zoo was meant to honor the US and China’s new relationship in 1972.

Reflect: If you were to choose an animal from your country to send to a foreign zoo to represent a diplomatic bond, which animal would you choose? What does it symbolize?

GIF of giant pandas courtesy @sandiegozoo on GIPHY.

Based on the way it’s used in the opening sentence of the article, the author's word “fuzzitude” expresses something _______ about pandas. (Common Core RI.5.4; RI.6.4)
a. negative
b. neutral
c. positive
d. embarrassing
For more formative assessments, visit to start a free trial.

News brought to you by The Juice

Start a free trial today