Beloved giant panda Fu Bao leaves S. Korea for China

(Xinhua) 15:00, April 03, 2024

SEOUL, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Beloved Fu Bao, the first giant panda born in South Korea, left South Korea for China on Wednesday amid a large crowd's tearful farewell.

Thousands of panda lovers gathered at Everland, the country's largest theme park in Yongin, about 40 km south of the capital Seoul, to say goodbye to the country's top panda celebrity.

The panda fans braved the rainy weather and kept silent when a specially-made vehicle carrying Fu Bao passed through the crowd in a bid to prevent her from being surprised by any noise.

Zookeepers held a farewell event for the fans inside the theme park, and the vehicle with a message of "It's a miracle to meet you. Thanks, Fu Bao" was unable to show the panda as she should spend a month in quarantine to prepare for her return to China.

Kang Cheol-won, a zookeeper nicknamed the "grandpa of Fu Bao", accompanied the giant panda on her flight to China despite the funeral service of Kang's mother who reportedly passed away on Tuesday.

Becoming the first giant panda born in South Korea, Fu Bao was born in July 2020 to Le Bao and Ai Bao, the pandas leased by China for 15 years in March 2016.

Fu Bao has been loved by South Koreans for her lovely appearance and unique charm.

Around 5.5 million people had visited the Panda World in the Yongin park to meet the panda family since Fu Bao was made open to the public in January 2021.

Le Bao and Ai Bao also gave birth to female twin cubs, Rui Bao and Hui Bao, at Everland in July 2023.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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