San Diego Zoo Preparing to Send Giant Pandas Back to China

They’re calling it the end of an era at the San Diego Zoo.

The zoo’s last two giant pandas are preparing to return home to China after more than a quarter-century in California.

The bamboo-lovers are actually on loan from the Chinese government.

That arrangement is now over.

Visitors are lining up for one last look at the adorable bears.

Bai Yun came to the zoo in 1996 after China asked the zoo to help save the species from extinction.

Now his caretakers are emotional about letting him go.

The zoo says because of successful breeding and boosted awareness, the wild panda population in China has jumped.

Pandas were downgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable” back in 2016.

Administrators at the San Diego Zoo hope to continue negotiations with China so they can send more new cubs in the future.