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Yang Yang, a 26-year-old male giant panda at Zoo Atlanta, has made his annual prediction of the winner of the 2023 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between the No. 10 Ole Miss Rebels and the No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions.  

The giant panda entered his outdoor habitat on December 14, 2023, to find two identical boxes painted with team logos, and made his pick. 2023 is Yang Yang’s eighth year as Atlanta’s panda prognosticator in advance of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which will be played at Noon EST on December 30 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

An ambassador for Zoo Atlanta’s most significant long-term investment in wildlife conservation, Yang Yang is one of four giant pandas at the only zoo in the U.S. currently housing these bears. Fewer than 1,900 giant pandas remain in the wild in China’s Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces. Of these, more than 1,200 live inside nature reserves. Zoo Atlanta has supported programs on eight of these reserves and has contributed well over $16 million in support for wild giant pandas living in China.

Zoo Atlanta’s giant panda loan agreement with China expires in late 2024; however, the Zoo does not yet have any specific details on the timing of panda travels in 2024. Zoo Atlanta expects to have significant advance notice to share, as the permitting process for sending animals outside the U.S. takes time. No discussions have yet taken place with partners in China as to the status of the Zoo Atlanta giant panda program beyond the end of the loan in 2024. Zoo Atlanta is committed to the long-term stewardship of giant pandas and to the continuation of its valued partnership with the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens.

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.

Plan a visit at            

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

Rachel Davis, Director of Communications, Zoo Atlanta

Dillon Faulkner, Director of Communications, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

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 African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, bontebok, warthogs, meerkats and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the newly restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit

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