China sending 2 new pandas to US for 1st time in over 20 years

China is sending a pair of giant pandas to the United States, the first in over two decades. 

Pandas Yun Chuan and Xin Bao are headed to the San Diego Zoo where they will be kept from the public for several weeks as they acclimate to their new home, according to a news release from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. 

A farewell ceremony for the pandas was held at the China Conservation & Research Center for Giant Pandas in the Sichuan province before they were sent off to the U.S. 

"We are incredibly excited to welcome Yun Chuan and Xin Bao to the San Diego Zoo," said San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance President and CEO Paul Baribault. 

Yun Chuan.  (San Diego Zoo)

Once the wildlife health and care team confirm Yun Chuan and Xin Bao are ready to meet the public, the zoo will announce a debut date and give specific information about how to see the pandas. 

Xin Bao. (San Diego Zoo)

Pandas are classified as a "vulnerable" species. 

There are approximately 1,864 in the wild, according to World Wildlife’s website and they mainly live in the mountains of southwest China. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.