The National Zoo has signed an agreement that will keep giant pandas in D.C. until December 2020.
The zoo made the announcement today in a press release, adding that all pandas—Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and any offspring—will remain the property of China. The National Zoo will continue to work with the China Wildlife and Conservation Association on research efforts and contribute $500,000 a year to the cause. In 2020, according to a spokeswoman, the zoo will work on negotiating a new agreement.
But what about sweet Bao Bao and Bei Bei, you’re probably screaming at your screen right now? According to the agreement, any cubs born at the National Zoo may stay until the age of four. That’s how old Tai Shan, Mei and Tian Tian’s first cub, was when he was taken to China, in 2010. Bao Bao celebrated her second birthday in August, while Bei Bei was born earlier this year. He will go on display at the zoo this January.
Photo via National Zoo