Zoo Atlanta to bring giant pandas back to China

The zoo said its agreement expired after 25 years.

ATLANTA — Zoo Atlanta’s giant pandas will return to China in late 2024, the zoo announced Friday.

The zoo said its agreement expired after 25 years. To celebrate bears, Zoo Atlanta is hosting a summer of celebration, with a kickoff event on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

Dynamic cultural performances and educational activities are available from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and are free to Zoo Atlanta members and free with general admission.

Although the zoo has not confirmed the pandas’ return dates, it said it will update the public as soon as information becomes available.

“No discussions have yet taken place with partners in China regarding the future of the zoo’s giant panda program following the expiration of Zoo Atlanta’s current agreement,” the zoo said.

Zoo Atlanta said it will continue to be committed to the long-term conservation of the species.

Learn more about Zoo Atlanta’s pandas

Zoo Atlanta has four pandas, including the first twins born in the United States in more than a quarter century. Giant pandas typically only care for a single cub when twins are born in the wild, which usually leads to the survival of only one twin.

Ya Lun and Xi Lun and their parents, Lun Lun and Yang Yang, are their names.

Zoo Atlanta Statement on Conservation Efforts

Dating back to the mid-1990s, even before Lun Lun and Yang Yang arrived in 1999, Zoo Atlanta’s partnership with colleagues in China has a long history of collaboration and information sharing that has benefited animal care , to the study and conservation of giant pandas. .

Since launching its giant panda program, Zoo Atlanta has contributed more than $17 million to the conservation of wild giant pandas. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) updated the giant panda’s status from “endangered” to “vulnerable” in 2016; However, there are estimated to be fewer than 1,900 giant pandas left in the wild in China, with the majority living in nature reserves. Habitat loss and fragmentation remain the main threats to wild giant pandas. Zoo Atlanta’s conservation support has benefited pandas living in nature reserves, contributing to reforestation efforts, reserve management, ranger support, and genetic diversity studies.

In addition to supporting conservation and contributing to the global body of scientific knowledge about giant pandas, their biology and behavior, Zoo Atlanta’s panda program has had notable success in terms of future contributions to the population of the ‘species. Seven giant pandas have been born at the zoo since 2006, including two sets of successful twins. Lun Lun and Yang Yang’s offspring include Mei Lan (born 2006); Xi Lan (born 2008); Po (born in 2010); twins Mei Lun and Mei Huan (born in 2013); and twins Ya Lun and Xi Lun (born 2016). Mei Lan, Xi Lan, Po, Mei Lun and Mei Huan are already residents of the Chengdu Research Center of Giant Panda Breeding in China and have all since become parents themselves.