File photo of a giant panda. EFE-EPA FILE/Xiao Bo

Giant panda Ya Ya arrives in Beijing after month-long quarantine in Shanghai

Beijing, May 29 (EFE).- Ya Ya, a giant panda that spent two decades at the Memphis Zoo in the US state of Tennessee as part of a loan agreement, arrived in Beijing late Sunday after a month-long quarantine in Shanghai, where she landed on Apr. 27.

The return of Ya Ya, born in Beijing in 2000, came amid widespread concern in China about the state of her health.

Beijing Zoo’s staff will examine her before allowing public visits, state-run newspaper Global Times reported Monday.

Ya Ya traveled to the Memphis Zoo at the age of three with Le Le, a male panda born in Shanghai, as part of a cooperation program between China and the US.

Efforts to bring Ya Ya back to China intensified after Le Le’s death in February last year, aged 25 years and the deterioration of Ya Ya’s fur due to a skin disease.

China sent a team of experts to determine the causes of Le Le’s death while campaigns on Chinese social media demanding Ya Ya’s return intensified.

The US denied the allegations of mistreatment of the pandas and the Memphis Zoo said that Ya Ya had a chronic skin condition that “does not affect her quality of life but does occasionally make her hair look thin and patchy.” EFE