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US zoo-goers say goodbye to Giant pandas Tai Shan

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A man wearing a panda head-shaped hat attends a farewell party for giant panda Tai Shan at the National Zoo.

During his years at the American zoo, Tai Shan has become wildly popular.

Many zoo visitors came from far away to say farewell to Tai Shan. For a lot of them, it was difficult to see the bear go.

Seven-year-old Colleen came here from New York to see Tai Shan. She brought some special gifts and wrote her wishes to the bear.

Dr. Donald Moore working at the zoo said a specialized travel crate, and even a special aircraft have been prepared for the long journey to China. And Tai Shan won't be traveling alone.

Dr. Donald Moore, Smithsonian's National Zoo, said, "FedEx Express will fly him in a brand new 777, along with Mei Lan from Zoo Atlanta, and zoo keepers, one veterinarian, and the flight crew, direct from Washington, D.C., to Chengdu, China."

At Zoo Atlanta in the state of Georgia, zoo-goers visited with three-year-old female panda Mei Lan for the final time before she departs. Mei Lan is Tai Shan's cousin. She is the only giant panda ever born in Atlanta.

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