Giant panda Ya Ya will soon come back to China. Memphis Zoo will throw a farewell party for Ya Ya on April 8, according to the zoo's official twitter account.
Topics related to Ya Ya's return and expiration of Ya Ya's 20-year loan agreement immediately trended on social media.
The agreement between the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens and the American Memphis Zoo on cooperation in giant panda conservation and research will end on April 7, 2023, and Ya Ya and Le Le, the two giant pandas sent to the zoo under the agreement, will soon return to China.
Memphis Zoo invited the community via the official twitter account to wish Ya Ya safe travels and celebrate its 20-year partnership with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, and to enjoy cultural performances, sign goodbye letters, and more at the event.
According to public information, the giant pandas will enter China through Shanghai. Staff at Beijing Zoo said that Ya Ya will first undergo one-month quarantine in Shanghai and then return to Beijing Zoo.
Sun Quanhui, a scientist at the World Animal Protection Association, said that according to the related regulations of China, animals entering China need to undergo quarantine. Therefore, giant pandas returning from abroad also need this step to mainly check whether Ya Ya carries some unknown diseases or germs.
Sun Quanhui added that Ya Ya will turn 23 years old, which means the giant panda is entering an old age based on the average lifespan of captive giant pandas. Her digestive ability and absorption ability will decline continuously. Therefore, she needs to be provided with more easily absorbed and nutritionally balanced food. In addition, her activities, weight, food intake and other health indicators reflecting her physical condition should be closely monitored so that any abnormalities can be detected early and handled properly.
The Chinese Zoo Association stated that Beijing Zoo has made all preparations from breeding sites, breeding plans, medical guarantees, feed supply and other aspects.
Sun Quanhui suggested that after returning home, Ya Ya will face a completely new living environment which may be uncomfortable for her after living abroad for nearly 20 years. "During this time, tourist disturbances should be minimized as much as possible and delicious food and a suitable living environment should be provided to help her quickly adapt to her new surroundings," Sun noted.