FedEx and zoo officials prepare for their special delivery
Staff at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington used a forklift to move Bei Bei, the panda, to a truck, headed for Dulles International Airport.
There, the crate was due to be loaded onto the FedEx Panda Express, a specially 'decaled' Boeing 777F, which will fly the four-year-old giant panda to Chengdu, China.
Bei Bei was born at the National Zoo, and like his sister, Bao Bao, in 2017, he is moving to China to help contribute to the global giant panda population.
FedEx is donating transportation services as part of its FedEx Cares "Delivering for Good" initiative. This dedicated special flight of the fuel-efficient Boeing 777F can make the 16-hour journey from DC to China non-stop.
The only cargo on board will be Bei Bei and his favourite treats - a large stash of bamboo, apples and pears, two bags of leafeater biscuits, some cooked sweet potatoes and lots of water.
Details of the forklift used for the delicate move were not revealed - and it's not clear whether it was an American or Chinese machine - or possibly even a European model.