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Only Panda Twins In The U.S., Turning 3!

WHO:

Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the only giant panda twins in the U.S., are turning 3 on Friday, July 15, and panda “besties” from near and far are invited to share the world-famous duo’s big day with special festivities and an exclusive discount on Zoo Atlanta admission.

WHAT:

Purchase one general admission ticket at Zoo Atlanta Admissions, and mention “I brought my bestie” to enjoy 50% off a second general admission ticket. The offer is valid in-person only and is only available on July 15, 2016. The discount is not valid with any other promotion.

The twins will enjoy their birthday ice “cakes” – an annual highlight designed and created by their care team – at 2 p.m. at The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Giant Panda Conservation Center. Other highlights will include a special photo-op for panda fans; meet-and-greets with Zhu Zhu the giant panda mascot; and a chance to sign birthday postcards for the twins. Visit zooatlanta.org for more event details.

Born July 15, 2013, Mei Lun and Mei Huan are the fourth and fifth cubs of Lun Lun and Yang Yang. At the time of their birth, the cubs were the first giant panda twins born in the U.S. since 1987. Lun Lun’s and Yang Yang’s first three offspring, male Mei Lan (born 2006), male Xi Lan (born 2008), and female Po (born 2010), now reside at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China.

Giant pandas represent Zoo Atlanta’s most significant financial investment in conservation. Fewer than 1,900 giant pandas are estimated to remain in the wild in China’s Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, and more than 1,200 of these live inside nature reserves. Support from Zoo Atlanta benefits wild giant pandas living on eight of these reserves. In 2012, Zoo Atlanta and partner organizations, Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, Memphis Zoo and San Diego Zoo Global, received the International Conservation Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for their commitment to the species. The award recognized exceptional efforts toward giant panda regional habitat preservation, species restoration and support of biodiversity in the wild.

To arrange for media escort for photos or video, please contact Rachel Davis at rdavis@zooatlanta.org or 404.624.2812.

WHEN:

Friday, July 15, 2016 The twins receive their birthday ice cakes at 2 p.m. Meet-and-greets with Zhu Zhu the giant panda mascot from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE:

Zoo Atlanta 800 Cherokee Avenue, S.E. Atlanta, GA 30315

CONTACT:

Rachel Davis, Director of Communications

404.624.2812 – office

404.309.2238 – cell

rdavis@zooatlanta.org

Gavin Johnson, Public Relations and Communications Specialist

404.624.5980 – office

gjohnson@zooatlanta.org

ABOUT:

About the giant panda program at Zoo Atlanta

The giant panda program at Zoo Atlanta dates to the mid-1990s, prior to the debut of giant panda pair Lun Lun and Yang Yang, who arrived in 1999 on loan from China. Zoo Atlanta initiated its giant panda loan with its primary Chinese partners, the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG), the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and the Chengdu Zoo. Zoo Atlanta scientists developed a program focused on using behavioral and veterinary research to understand, support, and lengthen maternal care; improve reproductive success and well-being; understand giant pandas’ cognitive and perceptual abilities; and improve health, including preventative medicine. Zoo Atlanta’s relationship with the Chengdu Research Base and Chengdu Zoo also led to the creation of conservation education departments at these institutions – the first of their kind in Chinese zoos. In 2012, Zoo Atlanta and partners Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, Memphis Zoo and San Diego Zoo Global earned the prestigious International Conservation Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for their long-term commitment to the species. To date, five giant panda cubs have been born at Zoo Atlanta: Mei Lan (2006); Xi Lan (2008); Po (2010); and Mei Lun and Mei Huan (2013). Mei Lan, Xi Lan and Po currently reside at the Chengdu Research Base.

About Zoo Atlanta

Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with some 1,300 animals from around the world. The Zoo’s newest destination, Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring more than 70 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, opened in 2015 and is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit. Zoo collection highlights include Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; North America’s largest zoological collection of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Up-close-andpersonal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, Aldabra giant tortoises, giant pandas, lemurs, Sumatran tigers and warthogs. Zoo Atlanta is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife shows, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl