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China sent panda Yaya home after 20 years WGN Radio 720

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Giant panda Yaya landed in Shanghai on Thursday after leaving the Memphis Zoo in Tennessee.

The popular panda journey was secretly followed online.

People shared screenshots tracking Ya Ya’s flight path to Shanghai. “We’re finally back!” cheered one user in response to the news. Chinese state media reported that some asked for a live broadcast of the arrival, and he was named four of his top 10 trending topics on his Weibo social media platform. Images from Chinese broadcaster Phoenix News were particularly popular among Chinese social media users. It showed that Ya Ya relieved herself before her trip and left poop as a gift for the zoo.

The zoo held Ya Ya’s farewell party in early April and said she would miss the panda. Her departure means the end of her 20-year loan agreement with the Chinese Zoo Association.

Ya Ya was born on August 3, 2000 in Beijing. She lived at the Memphis Zoo with her male panda Les, who was born on July 18, 1998. Lele said she died in February.

The average lifespan for giant pandas in the wild is about 15 years, but in captivity they live up to 38 years.

In early 2023, after a 20-year loan agreement ended without renewal, allegations of neglect and abuse circulated on Chinese social media, along with photos of Yaya with discolored and mottled fur.

In a statement, the Memphis Zoo noted that it reports monthly to the Chinese Zoo Association on the panda’s health, and said the panda’s quality of life was not affected by the condition of her fur. , “Ya Ya also lives with a chronic skin and fur condition that is intrinsically linked to the immune system and directly affected by hormonal fluctuations.”

A veterinarian was with Ya Ya to monitor her health on the way to Shanghai, the zoo said.

https://wgnradio.com/news/international/china-welcomes-ya-ya-the-panda-home-after-20-years-abroad/ China sent panda Yaya home after 20 years WGN Radio 720

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