Memphis Zoo pandas to be sent back to China

(WMC Action News 5)
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 9:15 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - After two decades in Memphis, the Memphis Zoo’s giant pandas will be sent back to China.

The zoo announced Wednesday that the loan agreement with the Association of Zoological Gardens will end and Ya Ya and Le Le will be sent back in the next few months.

For years, animal rights activists have called for the pandas to be sent away from the zoo.

Memphis Zoo held a press conference on the well-being of their pandas in August of 2021 reporting they were healthy and received whatever they wanted.

“We cannot put it out there vehemently enough that she is healthy; she just looks a little special,” said Memphis Zoo Animal Programs Director, Courtney Janney of Ya Ya’s weight.

Giant pandas are considered an endangered species.

Action News 5 covered the pandas’ arrival back in 2003, when they were flown in on a FedEx plane:

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