Very exciting! The Memphis Zoo, about 80 miles from me, is on Panda Watch! Ya Ya, the female member of the zoo’s panda duo, is expected to give birth anyday now. She was artificially inseminated 132 days ago and pandas typically give birth on the 133rd day, which would be tomorrow.
Of course, it isn’t certain that Ya Ya is pregnant. Panda cubs are about the size off a stick of butter when they are born and, well, seeing how BIG a panda Mother is, well, it is a bit hard to tell. But, the report is that Ya Ya hasn’t been eating a lot and has been sleeping a lot this week so speculation is that she might have a bun… er… a stick of butter in the proverbial oven.
This is all a pretty big deal, you see, as these pandas were a special gift, a 10-year loan really, from China. They are in about their fourth year here, I think. Bringing them here was quite the ordeal, quite a spectacle. You can read all about it and see the photo gallery here:
FedEx (hubbed in Memphis) customized a plane just for these pandas – Ya Ya and Le Le. From what I’ve read, the plane was really quite neat and very swank, although I’ve not seen photos of the inside. Apparently, these pandas traveled in high style! They also arrived to much pomp, complete with parades, dragons, people in costume and much ado!
So, hooray to the possibility of there being another little… er… Giant Panda in this world! I do hope that Ya Ya is pregnant and that all goes well for her. If you want to keep up with it all, The Memphis Zoo has a PandaCam. Might be something that your kids would like to see too!
Enjoy! Aren’t they just the cutest?