Officials at the Smithsonian Institution say a popular young giant panda will leave Washington's National Zoo on Feb. 4 for China.
Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said Monday that the panda would travel by FedEx to China, along with a 2-year-old female panda from Zoo Atlanta.
Zoo officials announced in December that Tai Shan would be sent to China for breeding.
Tai Shan has been one of the biggest attractions at the zoo. He was born at the zoo in 2005 but is property of China.
Tai Shan's parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are on a 10-year, $10 million loan that expires in December.
China loans pandas to four U.S. zoos in Atlanta, Washington, San Diego and Memphis,Tenn.