Tai Shan Time Line
Tai Shan (tie-SHON), one of the National Zoo’s giant pandas, officially began his journey to China on Feb. 4, 2010, leaving the Zoo at 9:04 a.m. The 4 ½-year-old panda was driven to Dulles International Airport, where he boarded a FedEx 777 plane bound for Chengdu. The non-stop flight will take about 15 hours.

Under the agreement, giant panda cubs born at the National Zoo belong to China and are to be sent to Wolong's Beifengxia Base in Ya'an, Sichuan, sometime after the cub turns two. In April 2007, shortly before his second birthday, China granted the National Zoo a two-year extension for Tai Shan to remain in Washington, D.C. That extension expired in July, but the Zoo was provided a second extension to January 2010.

Tai Shan was born at 3:41 a.m. on July 9, 2005, weighing only a few ounces at birth. The first cub for mother Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and father Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN), he was conceived through artificial insemination on March 11, 2005, in a procedure performed by National Zoo scientists and veterinarians.

Since his public debut in December 2005, Tai Shan has delighted millions of visitors who have come to the Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat at the National Zoo to see him. He also has touched fans from around the world through the Zoo’s giant panda Webcam, which has drawn millions of visitors annually since his birth.
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