Victory! Suffering Giant Pandas YaYa & LeLe At The Memphis Zoo Will Finally Be Sent To A Sanctuary In China

Suffering: Giant Pandas YaYa And LeLe At Memphis Zoo Credit: Panda Voices

UPDATE! A huge victory for Giant Pandas YaYa, 22, and LeLe, 24, who will be sent back to their homeland of China, according to a statement from the Memphis Zoo. In Defense of Animals and Panda Voices, who have been lobbying for the pandas’ release for nearly two years, announced the news today.

“After far too many years of suffering in a grossly inappropriate zoo exhibit, YaYa and LeLe will finally get improved care at a specialized panda refuge in their homeland,” said Brittany Michelson, Captive Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals.

“We applaud the Memphis Zoo and Chinese authorities for making the ethical decision to return the pandas to China once the loan contract ends in April 2023. We thank Billie Eilish and our many thousands of supporters worldwide for helping us encourage the zoo to do the right thing,” continued Michelson. “We are delighted to celebrate this momentous victory. Animals suffer tremendously in zoos, and we hope this will prompt all zoos to put animals’ needs first and release them to accredited sanctuaries.”

YaYa and LeLe have been suffering at the Memphis Zoo since 2003. The pandas are visibly distressed and malnourished and spend their days pacing or sleeping, clearly bored in their dirty, small enclosure. YaYa has a chronic skin condition and LeLe has significant teeth issues resulting in broken molars.

“We are overwhelmed with joy at the news of YaYa and LeLe returning home to China!” said Taciana Santiago of Panda Voices.

“We thank the Memphis Zoo for allowing this to happen and hope they provide the pandas the conditions they need to be fit to endure the long travel. We will continue to monitor their situation until we are sure they are in a suitable environment,” continued Santiago. “We look forward to seeing them live a life of retirement and peace in China. Big thanks to In Defense of Animals and all of our supporters who stayed vigilant on this journey! King LeLe and Queen YaYa will soon be home!”

The campaign to free YaYa and LeLe was supported by singer Billie Eilish.

Thankfully, the loan contract between China and the Memphis Zoo is ending in April 2023 and they will be returning home.

How you can help us support those on the ground:

You can support animals in need by donating as little as £1 – It only takes a minute but it can last a lifetime for an animal in need.

Everyone who donates will receive a Certificate of Appreciation as a thank you for helping animals in need.

ZooSpeak: ‘Life’ In A Zoo Through The Eyes Of A Brown Bear

Brown Bear, Germany, 2008

~ 1 ~

I’m aware of what you are

and I’m also aware of what you’re

thinking. You’re a human being

~ 2 ~

I’m aware of what you are

and I’m also aware of what you’re

thinking. You’re a human being

and you are thinking I am something else

~ 3 ~

I’m aware of what you are

and I’m also aware of what you’re

thinking. You’re a human being

and you are thinking I am something else

put here for your entertainment.

~ 4 ~

I’m aware of what you are

and I’m also aware of what you’re

thinking. You’re a human being

and you are thinking I am something else

put here for your entertainment,

that makes it easier for you to ignore me.

~ 5 ~

I’m aware of what you are

and I’m also aware of what you’re

thinking. You’re a human being

and you are thinking I am something else

put here for your entertainment,

that makes it easier for you to ignore me

and the wire mesh that surrounds me.

~ 6 ~

I’m aware of what you are

and I’m also aware of what you’re

thinking. You’re a human being

and you are thinking I am something else

put here for your entertainment,

that makes it easier for you to ignore me

and the wire mesh that surrounds me;

the wire mesh that separates us.

~ 7 ~

I’m aware of what you are

and I’m also aware of what you’re

thinking. You’re a human being

and you are thinking I am something else

put here for your entertainment,

that makes it easier for you to ignore me

and the wire mesh that surrounds me;

the wire mesh that separates us,

and your way of thinking from mine.

Gordon Meade

ZOOSPEAK

Gordon Meade is a Scottish poet and animal advocate. His 10th book of poetry is called Zoospeak. It’s about the inhumane and appalling conditions for animals who live in zoos and other terrible places. He wrote it to accompany the photographs in Jo-Anne McArthur’s, Captive, a haunting book of photographs featuring animals in captivity.

This Is NO Life

If you are unfamiliar with Jo-Anne’s work, go to We Animals Media and take a look. It will change you.

Please read and share Gordon’s poems.

The Mission of Protect All Wildlife is to prevent cruelty, promote the welfare of ALL animals EVERYWHERE, and help END animal abuse.

Please support our work by donating ANY amount, large or small. It only takes a minute and your donations make it all possible. Thank you for your support.