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Crowds brave snow to say farewell to Washington, D.C. panda

Snow and below-freezing temperatures didn’t keep visitors from coming to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo today to say goodbye to D.C.’s beloved panda, Tai Shan.

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During his farewell celebration today, Tai Shan was presented with a special three-tiered purple and white frozen treat made of apples, carrots, beets and bamboo created by the Zoo’s commissary staff, the zoo said in a caption accompanying these photos.

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Under the National Zoo’s agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, the four-year-old panda will be sent to Wolong’s Bifengxia Base in Ya’an, Sichuan on February 4 to take part in a breeding program. Visitors can see Tai Shan through Wednesday, February 3.

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Photo courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Zoo