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Thursday, July 9, 2009 - 3:00am

Zoo Atlanta Raises Thousands in Panda Campaign

Zoo Atlanta has raised more than $40,000 in the month since it announced a fundraising campaign to help keep its giant pandas.

The zoo launched the "Give So They Can Stay" program June 17 in hopes of bringing in $500,000 to keep the popular animals. The fundraising will continue through the end of the year.

The zoo's lease with China for its panda pair, Lun Lun and Yang Yang, is up this year. The couple has had two cubs - Mei Lan and Xi Lan – since 2006. Mei Lan will return to China in the next year to breed, while Xi Lan will stay with his parents.