Memphis Zoo announced on December 21, 2022 that their panda loan agreement with China would be ending:
After two decades, Memphis Zoo’s current giant panda loan agreement with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens will end and Ya Ya and Le Le will make the journey back to China within the next few months. Ya Ya and Le Le have been integral parts of the Memphis community for the past 20 years and we are grateful for the time we were able to spend with them. During their time at Memphis Zoo, Ya Ya and Le Le helped pioneer research and conservation projects to teach others about the importance of their species. It has been a privilege to host these incredible bears at Memphis Zoo for the past two decades and the impact their culture has had on the City of Memphis will forever be remembered. Guests have traveled to Memphis to get a small taste of the exquisite culture of the People’s Republic of China and Memphis Zoo is so thankful to have been a middle ground between two great nations. We will cherish their impact not only on Memphis Zoo, but the City of Memphis. It has been a wonderful 20 years fostering this relationship with Ya Ya, Le Le, and the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens and we look forward to continuing this partnership in the future.
Over the summer the Memphis Zoo created a video for their friends in China. This video takes you back 20 years to beginning of the panda journey and guides you to the present. You’ll learn about the incredible work it took to build the CHINA exhibit and all the major players who helped get the bears to Memphis. Enjoy!