Thursday, May 24, 2007

Panda = Profits

Posted on Thu, May 24, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Memphis Zoo officials have confirmed that the panda Ya Ya is pregnant after being artificially inseminated several months ago. That’s tremendous news — not only because these endangered animals are notoriously hard to breed in captivity, but because if all goes well, a baby panda would bring in thousands of visitors.

That is what’s happened at the Atlanta Zoo, where baby panda Mei Lan was born in September, currently the youngest panda at any zoo in the United States. The Atlanta zoo has since seen a 32 percent increase in visitors over last year, and the newest attraction is so popular that the zoo had to institute timed visits — like buying tickets to a ride at Disney World — so crowds wouldn’t jam around the bear’s cage.


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