- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Zoo in Washington has said its final goodbye to its panda cub Bao Bao.

The zoo packed up the American-born panda Tuesday for a one-way flight to Chengdu, China, where the 3-year-old will eventually join a panda breeding program.

Bao Bao left the zoo Tuesday morning in a special crate and began her 16-hour flight to China on Tuesday afternoon from Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

The cub won’t have to worry about finding overhead bin space or dealing with a talkative seatmate on the 16-hour, nonstop flight. She’ll be the only panda on the plane, traveling with a keeper and a veterinarian.

In preparation for the trip, keepers have packed Bao Bao’s favorite foods, including bamboo, apples and sweet potatoes.

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