Bye Bye, Bao Bao: Farewell Celebration for National Zoo's Giant Panda to Be Held Feb. - NBC4 Washington

Bye Bye, Bao Bao: Farewell Celebration for National Zoo's Giant Panda to Be Held Feb.

While an exact date for her departure was not given, the zoo says Bao Bao will move in late winter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The National Zoo is planning a send-off next month for Bao Bao, as it prepares to send the giant panda to China to be part of a conservation effort. Bao Bao was born here just over four years ago and has captured the hearts and attention of many in the region. News4's Barbara Harrison reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017)

    The National Zoo will bid a fond farewell to its 3-year-old giant panda with a series of online and on-site events next month.

    Bao Bao is sure to be the belle of the ball, receiving twice daily treats, her own 24/7 panda cam and an ice cake party between Feb. 16 and Feb. 20.

    Can't make it to the zoo?

    You're in luck! Many of the events celebrating Bao Bao's big move to China will be featured on the zoo's social media accounts.

    Smithsonian's National Zoo

    Bao Bao is moving to China to enter the the country's panda breeding program, the National Zoo said. All panda cubs born at the zoo move to China before they turn 4.

    Bao Bao will turn 4 Aug. 23, 2017. 

    She is expected to move before the winter is over. The zoo says it's better for pandas to travel in the winter months when its cool. A team will travel with Bao Bao to ensure she's comfortable throughout the trip. 

    Thibault Camus/AFP/Getty Images

    Bao Bao is the second of three surviving cubs born to Mei Xiang during her time at the zoo. She now weighs 180 pounds and is classified as a "sub-adult.'' Pandas can begin breeding between the ages of 4 and 6.