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Updated April 3rd, 2024 at 15:10 IST

Emotional Farewell as South Korea's Beloved Panda, Fu Bao, Departs for China

Despite the dreary weather, devoted panda enthusiasts braved the rain to attend a farewell ceremony for Fu Bao at the Everland park.

Reported by: Digital Desk
AP
Crowd gathers to bid farewell to Fu Bao | Image:AP
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In a poignant scene amidst rain-soaked surroundings, a crowd of people, some shedding tears, gathered at a popular amusement park in South Korea to bid farewell to Fu Bao, a beloved giant panda, as she prepared to depart for China on Wednesday.

Fu Bao, who captured the hearts of many since her birth at the Everland theme park near Seoul in 2020, has been a major attraction alongside her parents, Ai Bao and Le Bao, who arrived from China in 2016 as part of a lease program.

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People were visibly emotional 

Despite the dreary weather, devoted panda enthusiasts braved the rain to attend a farewell ceremony for Fu Bao at the Everland park. As a truck carrying the panda slowly made its way through the park, adorned with a large picture of Fu Bao and the message "It was a miracle that we met you. Thank you, Fu Bao," visitors waved flags, shouted parting messages, and snapped photos with their mobile phones. Some were visibly emotional, with tears streaming down their faces.

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Although Fu Bao wasn't visible to the public during the ceremony, zookeeper Kang Cheol-won expressed heartfelt sentiments, saying, "You are our baby panda forever even if 10 years pass or 100 years pass." He urged attendees to remember Fu Bao fondly and asked them not to cry too much.

Here is what else you need to know

Fu Bao's departure marks the end of an era at Everland, where she has been a cherished presence. The park last showcased her to the public on March 3, leaving many fans with lasting memories of the adorable panda.

Notably, Fu Bao's mother, Ai Bao, made headlines last year when she gave birth to female twin cubs, the first panda twins born in South Korea.

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The departure of Fu Bao underscores the unique relationship between South Korea and China regarding panda conservation efforts. While China sends pandas abroad as a gesture of goodwill, it retains ownership over the animals and their offspring.

As Fu Bao embarks on her journey to China, she leaves behind a legacy of joy and fascination among South Koreans, who will undoubtedly cherish her memory for years to come.

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Published April 3rd, 2024 at 15:10 IST

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