Individuals requiring the urgent release of two “abused” pandas enclosed in a US zoo is mounting to more than 87,000.
At present, YaYa and LeLe are confined in Memphis Zoo and have been for just about twenty years.
Animal rights campaigners claim they are “visibly distressed.” This is because they are malnourished with dental and skin problems, and suffer from “excessive” cage time.
Pandas caught in zoo
This is in breach of fundamental panda care, they say.
Campaigners say one of the pandas is presenting “severe signs” of mental stress because of being in captivity.
This is displayed through repetitive zoochotic behavior, which means the stereotypical behavior of animals trapped in zoos.
The other panda, additionally shows the indications of mental distress, with webcams showing him playing with his tongue.
87,000 Signatures To Return Panda’s Home
The pair were delivered from Beijing, China, in 2003. Presently, two scaling petitions are calling for them to be released so they can return home.
“We’re calling on Memphis Zoo CEO Jim Dean to stop the torture of YaYa and LeLe and send them back to China where they can be nursed back to health, eat suitable food, and live as pandas should.”
According to Panda Voices, “urgent measures” are needed to protect them. A representative for the organization, which is made up of panda fans across the globe, said Memphis Zoo is yet to respond to their calls.
A spokesperson with the Memphis Zoo sent FOX13 this statement:
“Our veterinary team reports the appearance of Ya Ya’s skin and coat varies considerably throughout the year due to a number of factors. Ya Ya is in very good health and, like all of our animals, she is observed very closely by our animal care and veterinary teams on a daily basis.”
Zoo leaders say both Ya Ya and Le Le get 100 to 150 pounds of fresh bamboo each day.
They will eat around 40 to 50 pounds of that, which is normal for pandas.
A spokesperson said diagnostic testing show both Ya Ya and Le Le are healthy.
The AZA sent in this statement:
“The veterinary records and diagnostic testing show that both Yaya and Lele are healthy animals. Diagnostic testing shows that Yaya does not have any underlying medical or malnutrition issues.
She has always had a body conformation and seasonal hair thinning atypical of the public expectation of a large, plump, fluffy, full-faced Giant Panda. Yaya has a great personality and interacts happily with her mate Lele, zoo staff, and guests. “
Both bears are in their 20s and have lived at the Memphis zoo for 18 years.