Beijing Zoo to send staff to the US to accompany Ya Ya home as the giant panda’s health condition sparks global concern
Published: Mar 09, 2023 12:09 AM
Giant panda Ya Ya is at the the Memphis Zoo in the US on February 14. Photo: IC

Giant panda Ya Ya is at the the Memphis Zoo in the US on February 14. Photo: IC

Beijing Zoo will send staff including veterinarians and keepers to the US next week, and will accompany beloving panda Ya Ya back to China, Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens released a notice on Wednesday, following the giant panda’s health condition sparking concerns among Chinese netizens.

The staff from China will fly to the US to assess Ya Ya's breeding condition and work with the Memphis Zoo to arrange the necessary breeding and nursing work for the giant panda, said the notice. After continuous and close monitoring by experts from both sides, Ya Ya's health is stable, and her feeding is operating normally.

The relevant departments from China and the US have been actively discussing measures to speed up procedures for Ya Ya to return home, in an effort to bring Ya Ya back soon. The departments from China have already completed the approval procedures. Beijing Zoo has made preparations to welcome Ya Ya home in terms of breeding grounds, feeding plans, medical care and feed supplies, according to the notice.

A video taken by netizens in the US at the end of February showing Ya Ya's living conditions at the Memphis Zoo has raised concerns among netizens about her health, and they have been calling for her to be brought home to China. 

The topic of staff from Beijing Zoo will come to the US has gained a heated discussion on Chinese-twitter like Sina Weibo. It has gained more than 56 million views as of press time Wednesday, with many netizens sending their best wishes to Ya Ya and  hoping for her safe return to China as soon as possible.

“We are waiting for you to come back safely, and we have prepared the bamboos,” a Chinese netizen commented on Weibo. 

In April of 2003, Ya Ya from Beijing Zoo and Le Le from Shanghai Zoo arrived at the Memphis Zoo in the US state of Tennessee as part of a joint conservation and research project between the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens and the US zoo.The agreement was initially for 10 years and was extended by 10 more years in 2013. Earlier in February, Ya Ya's male partner, giant panda Le Le, passed away at the zoo at the age of 25.