MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ya Ya’s not sick. She’s just showing her age, the Memphis Zoo said.
Social media has lit up this week with a viral photo that shows Ya Ya looking a little thin and discolored. Many wondered if she was doing OK, speculating she could be sick or malnourished.
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But the zoo has responded, saying she’s actually in great health and feeling good.
“At 20, she is considered a middle-aged panda,” a zoo spokesman said in an email. “Pandas in the wild have a life expectancy of 14-20 years, but can live up to 30 years of age in captivity.
“Yaya does lose a little fur in some patches seasonally, this is hormonal. She is also a little on the small side as far as pandas go, but it’s just another thing that makes her so special.”
In a Facebook post, the Memphis Zoo thanked people for their concern.
Ya Ya and the zoo’s other panda, Le Le, came to Memphis from China in 2003.