Panda Ya Ya returned to China from a zoo in the US in a ‘thin’ state, carrying the body of his lost panda friend Le Le


Seeing videos and photos of Ya Ya (Nha Nha) at the Memphis Zoo, the Chinese side was very worried when this panda girl appeared with dirty fur and thin body. Animal rights groups and the Voice of the Pandas have called for Ya Ya to be brought home “before his health deteriorates”. The Chinese side also pointed the finger at the Memphis Zoo for the death of panda Le Le (Lac Lac) last February.

However, the zoo side vehemently denied the lack of responsibility and mistreatment of the two pandas and gave an explanation of Ya Ya’s health problems. But the incident sparked a backlash from Chinese public opinion, even sparking controversy over how China has used pandas as a diplomatic tool for decades.

Hugo Zhang, a Chinese student in New York, said he was worried about Ya Ya’s safety, so during the New Year holiday, he flew to Memphis to visit the pandas.

“Ya Ya’s health is very poor, apparently suffering from a serious skin disease,” Truong told The New York Times. The international student also said that the bamboo that Ya Ya ate didn’t seem to be fresh enough.

China started the “Panda diplomacy” campaign in 1972. Currently, there are 18 countries that own pandas that are “borrowed” from China. Pandas travel in pairs (1 male and 1 female). Analysts say China has used them to build a friendly image and create good relations between the two countries. On April 11, French and Chinese media reported that the time period for two pandas Huanhuan (Hoan Hoan) and Yuanzi (Yuanzi) living at Beauval Zoo will be extended to 2027.

Ya Ya turns 24 this month and is nearing the end of her second “ten-year diplomatic career” at the Memphis Zoo. In 2003, Ya Ya came here with Le Le. On April 11, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that a Chinese expert and two staff members at Beijing Zoo are working with Memphis Zoo to prepare for the “national treasure” of China. ” come back home.

“Except for skin diseases that cause hair loss, Ya Ya’s overall condition is relatively stable. The Chinese side is now ready to welcome the panda back home,” said Uong Van Bin.


Rebecca Winchester, a spokeswoman for the Memphis Zoo, said the zoo always provides health data to the Chinese side. She said that the genetic disease of the panda Ya Ya affects the immune system and makes its fur look more ugly, currently weighing 86kg, quite thinner than usual.

The image of Ya Ya walking around the fence was another detail that attracted media attention, Winchester said, at the time it was possible that Ya Ya was affected by the hormones of estrus, and the female panda. go through this period of stimulation once a year.

Winchester said when asked about the criticism: “First, it’s difficult to control the flow of opinions on the matter of Ya Ya. The language difference and not being able to access the Memphis Zoo to see it with our own eyes are huge limitations.”

Last year, the China Zoo Association published a report on media concerns, saying that when Ya Ya arrived at the Memphis Zoo, experts suspected that it had ticks, and that its mother was also sick. skin caused by ticks, so Ya Ya was treated.

In December 2022, the Memphis Zoo and the China Zoo Association announced that Ya Ya and Le Le would return home in the spring. But Le Le died two months later at the age of 24. Another statement stated that Le Le died of cardiovascular problems (The lifespan of wild pandas is 15 to 20 years, while captive pandas are usually around 15 to 20 years old.) 30 years).

Previously, Le Le was expected to be brought back to China after the end of a 20-year loan contract. After Le Le passed away, the China Zoo Association said it was ready for Ya Ya to return home. Chinese public opinion expressed joy that Ya Ya can return to the place where it was born.

According to the video recorded at the Memphis Zoo preparing for Ya Ya to board the plane home, the luggage includes: An oxygen compartment for Ya Ya, a compartment for the escort with Ya Ya and a compartment that is a “refrigerator”. Freeze Le Le’s body. Beijing Zoo held a welcome ceremony for Ya Ya’s return to his hometown.


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