A pair of giant pandas will soon make the journey from China to the US, where they will be cared for at the San Diego Zoo as part of an ongoing conservation partnership between the two nations, officials said on Monday.

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance said its caretakers recently visited China to meet the giant pandas, Yun Chuan and Xin Bao, ahead of their planned trip to Southern California. An exact date for the handoff has not been set yet.

San Diego Zoo Pandas
Xin Bao, a ‘gentle and witty introvert’ will join Yun Chuan for a California adventure (Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo via AP)

Yun Chuan, a mild-mannered male who is nearly five years old, has “deep connections” to California, the wildlife alliance said. His mother, Zhen Zhen, was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2007 to parents Bai Yun and Gao Gao.

Xin Bao is a nearly four-year-old female described as “a gentle and witty introvert with a sweet round face and big ears”.

Dr Megan Owen, the alliance’s vice president of conservation science: “Our conservation partners in China shared photographs and personality traits of Yun Chuan and Xin Bao, but meeting them in person was so special.”

San Diego Zoo Pandas
Giant panda Yun Chuan’s mother Zhen Zhen was born at San Diego Zoo in 2007 (Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo via AP)

“It’s inspiring as people from around the world come together to conserve, protect, and care for these special bears, and we can’t wait to welcome them to San Diego.”

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has a nearly 30-year partnership with leading conservation institutions in China focused on protecting and recovering giant pandas and the bamboo forests they depend on.

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