February 4th, 2010
06:39 PM ET

Photo Gallery: Farewell to Tai Shan

November 29, 2005

Smithsonian National Zoo

Tai Shan officially began his journey to China early this morning, leaving the Zoo at 9:04 a.m. The four-and-a-half-year-old panda is on his way to Dulles International Airport, where he will board a FedEx 777 plane bound for Chengdu. The non-stop flight will take about 14 hours. Over the years, Tai Shan has become a celebrity in Washington, and will now take on a new role in China as part of a panda breeding program at Wolong’s Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya’an, Sichuan.

Since his birth July 9, 2005, Tai Shan, whose name means “peaceful mountain,” has attracted millions of visitors worldwide to the National Zoo and to the Zoo’s panda cams.

Tai Shan departed from Dulles at about noon today, and is traveling in a steel crate that measures 77 1/2 inches long, 56 1/2 inches wide and 50 inches tall. He will have fruit (pears are his favorite), vegetables, biscuits and about 55 pounds of bamboo to keep him fed during his journey.


November 29, 2005

January 6, 2006

August 30, 2006

August 30, 2006

July 9, 2008

February 1, 2010

February 3, 2010

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. jody

    I will always keep you in my thoughts and dreams

    February 5, 2010 at 2:26 am |
  2. lincardeno

    At least Tai Shan is now closer to where I am lol! beautiful, adorable creature!

    February 5, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  3. miss u tai

    Thank you for airing this - it has been a rough day for those of us who love Tai Shan. We will miss him dearly.

    February 5, 2010 at 12:37 am |
  4. Ditta Duarte

    Just adorable!

    February 5, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  5. izzy

    wow what an amazing story!!!!!

    February 4, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  6. Cynthia, NC

    I’m so sad to see Tai Shan leave the US. I remember seeing him for the first time on the zoo webcam only a few days after he was born. He was so tiny! It was such a joy to watch him grow through photos on the National Zoo’s website and their webcams. I hope he enjoys his new home!

    February 4, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  7. R&R

    adorable peaceful mountain, may you bring peace on Earth. Tai Shan, you have caused me adorable pandamonium.

    February 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
  8. Patrícia Grilo

    Beautiful. Good luck in China Tai Shan

    February 4, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  9. Carol B.

    God speed ,Tai Shan, and happy trails. You've brought many a smile to kids young and old at a wonderful zoo. Me & my children will miss you. Ching Tao! Cheers to you.

    February 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  10. Isabel Siaba

    American panda will face the challenge of 'learning' Chinese!

    Interesting history of the pandas and of the change that they will have to face.

    Good luck pandas!

    February 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm |