Happy 5th birthday, Ya Lun and Xi Lun!
Giant panda twins Ya Lun and Xi Lun turned 5 on September 3, 2021. The Panda Care Team celebrated early this year, filling the twins’ dayroom habitat in Zoo Atlanta’s Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Giant Conservation Center with birthday surprises on September 1. Special enrichment included ice “cakes” topped with banana slices, birthday boxes filled with leafeater biscuits, and a birthday banner. Footage of the festivities aired on September 3 on Zoo Atlanta Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so that the celebration could be shared by the twins’ many friends and supporters around the U.S. and around the world.
Fewer than 1,900 giant pandas are estimated to remain in the wild in China’s Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces. Of these, more than 1,200 live inside nature reserves, and eight of these reserves have been supported by Zoo Atlanta. Although the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) updated the species’ status from Endangered to Vulnerable in 2016, giant pandas remain heavily reliant on conservation programs. Their threats include habitat fragmentation and habitat loss as a result of deforestation and other human activities. Zoo Atlanta has contributed well over $16 million in support of wild giant pandas in China and has provided support for reforestation projects, conservation education programs, giant panda nurseries, and field research programs and supplies.
Learn more about the giant panda program at zooatlanta.org. Keep up with Ya Lun, Xi Lun, and their parents Lun Lun and Yang Yang on PandaCam. Plan a visit at zooatlanta.org.
Rachel Davis, Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office
404.309.2238 – cell
Gavin Johnson, Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office
About Zoo Atlanta
A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education, and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include the all-new African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs, meerkats and rhinos, and Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the newly restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org.
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