The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Pandemonium in the DMV

AHS watches beloved pandas set to leave National Zoo
    Pandemonium+in+the+DMV

    The giant pandas of the National Zoo in Washington D.C. will be leaving and returning to China. The three giant pandas that belong to the zoo, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and Xiao Qi, plan to depart on Dec. 7.
    Giant pandas were first gifted to the U.S. by China back in 1972. In 1972 President Richard M. Nixon made a visit to communist China to formalize normal relations between the two countries. Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai offered two giant pandas to the first lady, Pat Nixon.
    Since then there has been a 50-year contract between China and the U.S. regarding the stay of pandas.
    Giant pandas have always been a staple in any zoo visit and one of kid’s favorite exhibits to see. “When I was younger I remember going to the National Zoo and loving the panda exhibit that my parents would have to bribe me to get me to leave,” sophomore Lizzie Gronberg said,
    Officials at the National Zoo have not commented on the possibility of extending or renewing the arrangement, and repeated requests for information on the status of the talks have gone unanswered. But the zoo’s public posture has been distinctly negative, viewing these final months as the end of an era.
    “I’m honestly sad that the pandas are leaving, I remember going and seeing the pandas and it made me so happy and I’m sad that younger kids won’t be able to experience that feeling,” sophomore Ava Sewall said.
    Other than the National Zoo in D.C. we can expect a pair of pandas from Atlanta, Georgia to leave not until 2024 and there is no sight in renewing the deal. The Memphis Zoo, in Tennessee, had its giant pandas sent back to China earlier this year in April, while San Diego’s zoo left back in 2019.
    It’s not just the U.S. that the giant pandas are leaving but from other places around the world. Some include the Netherlands, Japan, Britain, Australia, and Canada, whose giant pandas have already left or plan to leave soon.
    “I really hope the Pandas come back cause I feel like a lot of people have good memories with the pandas and if they come back it could bring back those memories and allow more people to make memories,” junior Teagan Scott-Daniels said.
    The Chinese government now leases out the giant pandas or a standard 10-year lease with an annual cost of 1-2 million dollars. Even though the Chinese government does this there is still yet to be a plan to renew any contracts with the U.S..

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    About the Contributor
    Sophia Sewall, Staff Writer
    Sophomore Sophia Sewall is starting her first year of journalism as a staff writer. She plays varsity golf and softball for Annandale. She likes to listen to music, watch movies, and go to the gym. She loves to spend time with friends and plans to join Special Olympics and Girls Up this year.

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