China prepares to welcome back ailing giant panda Ya Ya from US
Beijing/Memphis: China is ready to welcome back its ailing giant panda Ya Ya from the Memphis Zoo in the United States of America, after the giant panda collaborative research agreement between the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens and the Memphis Zoo expired on April 7, 2023. The Memphis Zoo held a farewell ceremony for the giant panda on April 8.
Ya Ya, a female giant panda along with her male partner Le Le had come to the Memphis Zoo as part of a long-term lease with China in 2003. Since then the Zoo remained their home as the lease was renewed for another ten years in 2013. While Ya Ya did not produce a panda cub, the Zoo said it made strides in panda reproduction studies, even an ability to predict a pregnant panda’s due date with excellent accuracy.
Ya Ya’s ill health of late attracted much attention, particularly from internet users in China. Beijing today said it has made full preparations for the return of Ya Ya and will coordinate more closely with the US institutions concerned to complete a pre-departure health evaluation and send the giant panda safely home as soon as possible once the export permit is issued. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to issue an export license for Ya Ya and Le Le in accordance with the required procedures after the comment period ends on April 12, 2023.
On the plans to receive the giant panda, Beijing stated that at present, an expert from the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens and two technicians from the Beijing Zoo are now working with the Memphis Zoo on the caring of the giant panda and they have got a general understanding of the daily care of Ya Ya.
“The overall condition of the giant panda is relatively stable except for the fur condition caused by skin disease. The Chinese side has already made preparations to welcome Ya Ya home in terms of quarantine sites, living quarters, feeding plans, medical care and feed supplies,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters in Beijing today.
It may be mentioned that the endangered giant pandas are a smaller species of the bear family, males only weighing up to 275 pounds and females up to 220 pounds. They eat bamboo and can eat up to 80 lbs per day. Sometimes they also scavenge meat and occasionally eat fruit. They are among the most recognized animals in the world and a symbol of conservation. Giant Pandas once lived in many parts of China and beyond but have been pushed into marginal mountain habitats by encroaching on civilization. With many factors endangering the habitats of pandas, today they are found mainly in small reserves in western China. Only three zoos in the US house giant pandas – Memphis Zoo, Zoo Atlanta and Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
– global bihari buraeu