San Francisco to Receive Two Giant Pandas from China in 2023

San Francisco to receive two giant pandas from China in 2023, strengthening cultural ties and boosting tourism. This marks the city's first official panda lease since US-China diplomatic relations.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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San Francisco to Receive Two Giant Pandas from China in 2023

San Francisco to Receive Two Giant Pandas from China in 2023

San Francisco is set to receive two giant pandas from China in 2023, marking the city's first official panda lease since the establishment of US-China diplomatic relations. The announcement was made by San Francisco Mayor London Breed and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA).

This panda loan is the result of a yearlong advocacy campaign by the city. The pandas will be housed at the San Francisco Zoo, which previously hosted pandas during the 1984 Summer Olympics, attracting over 260,000 visitors. "Having pandas at the San Francisco Zoo will strengthen our already deep cultural connection and honor our Chinese and Asian and Pacific Islander heritage," stated Mayor Breed.

The CWCA will work with San Francisco officials to prepare for the pandas' arrival and ensure the technical standards for their conservation are met. Preliminary planning for the panda enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo has already begun, with a delegation from the Beijing Zoo set to visit San Francisco in May to further discuss the timeline and next steps.

Why this matters: The arrival of the pandas is expected to be of significant importance to San Francisco's local Chinese and Asian American Pacific Islander communities, as well as boost the city's economic and tourism efforts. It also represents a strengthening of cultural ties between San Francisco and China.

This development comes as San Diego recently announced it was also receiving two pandas, reestablishing the panda diplomacy program between the US and China. The US and China have engaged in panda diplomacy since the 1970s, with China owning most of the world's pandas. Currently, the only giant pandas in the US are at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia.

Mayor Breed expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity, stating that the pandas will "strengthen San Francisco's deep cultural connection with China and its Chinese and Asian American communities, as well as boost the city's tourism and attractions." Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Xie Feng congratulated the city, saying the goal was to bring the pandas to the zoo as early as next year.

Key Takeaways

  • San Francisco to receive 2 giant pandas from China in 2023, first since US-China relations.
  • Pandas to be housed at SF Zoo, which previously hosted pandas during 1984 Olympics.
  • Panda loan result of yearlong advocacy, expected to boost city's economy and tourism.
  • Pandas represent strengthening of cultural ties between SF and China, part of panda diplomacy.
  • San Diego also recently announced receiving 2 pandas, only US zoos with pandas are in GA.