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South Korea's first locally born panda Fu Bao heads to China, fans wave farewell



Panda fans in South Korea braved rainy weather on Wednesday to see off beloved bear Fu Bao as she embarked on her journey to China.

Born in the Korean city of Yongin in July 2020, Fu Bao quickly attracted a following in the country and was dubbed a "top celebrity in South Korea."

She was the first panda cub ever bred in the peninsular country, birthed by panda Le Bao and fathered by Ai Bao. The pair arrived in South Korea in March 2016 on a 15-year lease.

Following a one-month quarantine, Fu Bao's departure drew a crowd of fans who waited for hours in the rain outside Everland, the country's largest theme park, to attend a farewell party. Everland houses a 3,300-square-meter Panda World.

A large truck, specially tuned to reduce vibrations on uneven roads, carried Fu Bao to Incheon International Airport, where she is scheduled for a chartered flight to Wolong in southwest China's Sichuan, known as the hometown of giant pandas.

A South Korean giant panda caretaker and a Chinese veterinarian will accompany Fu Bao on the chartered flight.

In Wolong, she will be granted accommodation at the Shenshuping Base of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, which houses more than 30 of her kind.

(Cover image via CFP)

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