WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Giant pandas Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Xiao Qi Ji are leaving the National Zoo in mid-November, a few weeks sooner than anticipated.

As part of the zoo’s Giant Panda Cooperative Research and Breeding Agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, all three giant pandas will return to China by Dec. 7 when the agreement ends, the zoo said in a post.

The zoo entered into the agreement in December 2000 when Mei Xiang and Tian Tian first arrived at the zoo.

The giant panda team at the zoo has spent 51 years collaborating with China to advance conservation efforts for the giant pandas, both in human care and in the wild, according to the National Zoo’s website.

People who are unable to visit the zoo in person before the pandas’ departures can tune in to the Panda Cams to say their farewells.