Lun Lun and Yang Yang are Zoo Atlanta's first Giant Panda pair.
They arrived from China on Friday, November 5, 1999. This pair of pandas are unique in that they have been studied closely as a young pair in China before making their home in Atlanta.
Dr. Rebecca Snyder, a graduate of Georgia Tech University, had been researching the behavioral development of pandas with this pair in particular, in southwestern China's Chengdu Zoo and Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and is continuing her study with them at Zoo Atlanta. She has observed Lun Lun since she was three weeks old and Yang Yang since birth.
Lun Lun was born at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Chengdu, China. She was born on August 25, 1997. Lun's mother is Bing Bing (captive born, Chengdu Research) and her father is Lin Nan (wild born). She is known to be more reserved, a shy beauty with the round face considered ideal by the Chinese. She was taken from her mother at four-and-a-half months.
Yang Yang was born at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, China. He was born on September 9, 1997. Yang's mother is Ya Ya (captive born, Chengdu Research Base) and his father is Zhen Zhen (wild born). He is playful and easygoing. Yang remained with his mother for 13 months as part of a behavioral study conducted by Zoo Atlanta in collaboration with Chengdu Research Base. Once he was removed from his mother, Yang and Lun were put together as a pair.
Although each of the zoos in the United States has a separate agreement with the Chinese government, the deals are very similar. Zoo Atlanta is also paying $10 million for the 10 year loan of the giant Pandas. An additional one time payment of $600,000 is required for each panda cub born in their facility. The cubs are the property of China and must be returned at a mutually agreed upon time, usually after two years. Zoo Atlanta is also committed to extensive research on giant pandas, coordinating efforts with the Chengdu Research Base. Their studies include, Captive Giant Panda Maternal Behavior, Development of Giant Panda Socio-sexual Behavior along with many other studies. This link will take you to further research. Giant Panda Studies
Lun Lun and Yang Yang had their first offspring in 2006.
Mei Lan (Atlanta Beauty) male, was born at Zoo Atlanta on September 6, 2006, at 4:51 pm. His mother is Lun Lun (captive born; Chengdu Research Base) Lun was artificially inseminated with Mei Lan's father, Yang Yang's sperm in March of 2006. Natural mating was unsuccessful. Yang Yang (captive born; Chengdu Research Base)
The male cub weighed only about 3 oz., mostly pink with short sparse white hairs, panda cubs are very vocal. A video of Mei Lan's birth can be seen here: Mei Lan's birth. There is also a interesting cub development time line that the zoo put together on Mei Lan's development.
On August 30, 2008, Lun and Yang had their 2nd cub, a male named Xi Lan. His name means 'Atlanta Joy".
On November 3, 2010, Lun and Yang had their 3rd cub, a male named PO. He was named after the main animated panda character in the second movie Kung Fu Panda.