OREANDA-NEWS Pandas from the zoo in the American city of Atlanta will return to China in the fourth quarter of 2024. This is reported by the Washington Post.

Four pandas live in Atlanta: the 26-year-old female Lunlun, her peer, the male Yangyang, and their cubs Yalun and Silun, who were born seven years ago. The zoo leased Lunlun and Yangyang from China for 25 years in 1999. The lease has almost expired, so they will soon have to return to their homeland. The cubs were already born in the United States, but the treaty requires that they also be sent to China.

Pandas from the Atlanta Zoo are the last in the United States. In 2023, China took pandas from other zoos in the country under various pretexts. The most common reason was the end of lease terms, in some cases extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent decades, China has used pandas as a tool of diplomacy. As a rule, they were leased to the closest partners of this country. Canada, France and Australia received pandas after the PRC signed contracts with them for the supply of uranium. Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand — after important economic agreements. Pandas have appeared at Edinburgh Zoo after an oil deal with the Scottish authorities.

Earlier it was reported that during a visit to the United States, Xi Jinping drew attention to the shortage of pandas in this country. He hinted that he was ready to send new pandas to American zoos to replace those who had left.