I'm sure I'm not the only one who got a little choked up this morning watching the coverage of the pandas' departure for China. I watched Tai Shan grow up on the National Zoo webcam and went to visit him in Fall of 2006 when he was one-and-a-half years old. What a charismatic little bear! I couldn't take my eyes off of him.
He was supposed to go to China when he was two, but the zoo was allowed to keep him for a couple of extra years. We were lucky for the extra time but still, it's sad to see him go. The annual panda pregnancy watch is on, so maybe there will be another baby panda born in DC this year. Godspeed Tai!
Photos and videos of the cute one departing on the FedEx Panda Express are on the National Zoo's Flickr pages.