Le Le and Ya Ya are the first pair of pandas for Memphis Zoo.
Memphis Zoo had designed a special habitat called the CHINA EXHIBIT, creating an environment that would enhance the visitors experience featuring an animal collection from a specific part of the world. The buildings, plant life and even the sounds of China are represented here. Ya Ya and Le Le have two 600 sq. ft. day rooms, a large 4,300 sq. ft outdoor yard and one 1,800 sq.ft. outdoor yard in the event that Ya Ya has a cub.
Ya Ya was born at the Beijing Zoo, Beijing China. Her name means 'Beautiful Little Girl" She was born on August 3, 2000. Her mother is Le Le (born 9/18/1986, captive born) and her father is Ying Ying (born 8/15/1991, captive born). Both of these pandas live at the Beijing Zoo. She was keeper raised, not sure of the date she was removed from her mother. Ya Ya prefers the indoors most all of time even when the weather cools off. She has elongated ears and snout.
Le Le was born at the Chongquing Zoo, Chongquing, China. His name means 'Happy Happy'. He was born on July 18, 1998. His mother is Xin Xing (unknown, wild born) and his father is Chuan Chua (unkown wild born). Xin Xing lives at the Chongquing Zoo and Chuan Chua lives at the Shanghai Zoo. His conception was by natural mating and he was mother reared. He moved to Shanghai in September 1999 and stayed there until coming to Memphis in April 2003. Le Le has a rounded face with rounded ears. He loves the outdoors and frequently will take a dip in the outdoor pool, unlike his partner. He loves bamboo even more so then a tasty fruitsicle. They both dislike the heat and humidity.
Ya Ya has been unsuccessful so far in providing an offspring, but she is still very young. She is unusual in that she goes into estrus during the winter months as well as in the springtime. Mid January 2007 Ya Ya's estrogen levels dropped, and Le Le was put together with her, but their mating was unsuccessful so the zoo elected to do artificial insemination twice. The fetus was seen developing through an ultrasound but did not survive. Perhaps 2008 will be the lucky year for Le Le and Ya Ya.
The research that the Memphis Zoo is involved in cooperation with the Chinese government can be found at this link: Giant Panda Research at Memphis Zoo.