It’s plane sailing for Bei Bei the panda

By Damian Brett

FedEx B777F Panada Flight

FedEx has flown a four-year-old male panda, Bei Bei, from Washington DC to Chengdu.

Accompanied by one panda keeper and one veterinarian, Bei Bei was placed in a special crate provided by FedEx and travelled onboard a custom-decaled FedEx Express 777 Freighter nonstop from Washington’s Dulles International Airport to Chengdu, China, with a supply of his favorite treats, including 66 pounds of bamboo, 2 pounds of apples and pears, two bags of leafeater biscuits, 2 pounds of cooked sweet potatoes and water.

“We are honored to again be part of a truly special mission. The successful transportation of Bei Bei underscores the company’s commitment to safely and securely transporting even the world’s most precious cargo,” said Karen Reddington, president, Asia Pacific, FedEx Express.

“We are proud to have once again served as the trusted carrier, which is a testament to our operational strength and ability to handle highly sophisticated shipments that need special attention and requirements. We are looking forward to seeing Bei Bei adapt well to his new environment.” 

Prior to the flight, Bei Bei spent a month getting accustomed to the crate space for a comfortable journey in a familiar environment. Upon arrival in Chengdu, Bei Bei’s new keepers from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda met him on the tarmac and drove him to Bifengxia Panda Base where he will stay in quarantine for approximately 30 days. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s keeper will remain with Bei Bei for a short time as he acclimatises to his new home in China.

FedEx Express also provided logistical support in Washington DC to deliver Bei Bei from the zoo to the airport.

It is the eighth time that FedEx has transported a giant panda.

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