After a caravan to the airport and a ride past dozens of waiting photographers, Mei Lan was lifted into the 777 Freighter emblazoned with panda logos. Shortly after 8 a.m., the door was closed, the plane taxied and the flight took off.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed agreed it was fine to be “reflective, or even wistful” about Mei Lan’s departure, but important, too, to remember that she’s a healthy member of an endangered species, and by moving to China, she can help her kind survive. (Reeds advice to her: “be fruitful and multiply.”) Scientists estimate there are about 1,600 Giant Pandas in the wild. About 300 live in captivity, mostly in China.
Three giant pandas remain at the Atlanta Zoo, Mei Lan's parents and an infant. Link -via Metafilter
More on Mei Lan.
More on Tai Shan.