Over 87,000 people call for abused Memphis pandas to be sent home

Yvonne O'Halloran

YaYa and LeLe have been held captive in a Memphis Zoo for 18 years. They are distressed and not cared for well suffering from malnourishment from insufficent bamboo, excessive caging time (10+ hours) skin disease, dental problems and something known as zoochosis (a distressed state demonstrated through abnormal and repetitive behaviour (see video here).

YaYa is 21 years old and has undergone invasive artificial inseminatuon procedures despite already suffering with 4 miscarriages. It is no wonder she cannot maintain a pregnancy considering she is extremely underweight.

LeLe is 23 years old and also suffers from stereotypical behaviors and dental problems. It is common to see him sitting on a rock, playing with his tongue — a typical sign of mental distress caused, among other issues, by the lack of enrichment in their enclosures.

The communications director for In Defence Of Animals Fleur Dawes released a statement to Plant Based News, stating: “Anyone watching the Memphis Zoo webcam can see these pandas are in crisis.

“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.

And Beijing Zoo has been unable to make contact either, despite requesting for the animals to be flown back.

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