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Chi-Chi the Giant Panda

In the early 1950s, a farmer caught a panda cub in the county of Baoxing, a part of the province of Sichuan, China. News of the cub’s capture reached the ears of local communist officials, and soon the rare creature was making the long journey to Peking (now known as Beijing) to be exhibited in the national zoo.

The cub was christened Chi-Chi by her keepers, which translates as “Naughty Little Girl” in Mandarin. Chi-Chi was a crowd favorite. But in 1957, Maoist China’s then-ally, the Soviet Union, made a request for a panda to be exhibited in the Moscow Zoo, and Chi-Chi was sent away.

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