Giant panda Xi Lun turns 3 on Sept. 3.

Giant panda Xi Lun turns 3 on Sept. 3.

All four giant pandas located at Zoo Atlanta celebrate birthdays in August and September. Adult female Lun Lun turned 22 on Aug. 25, adult male Yang Yang turns 22 on Sept. 9 and their offspring, twin females Ya Lun and Xi Lun, turn 3 on Sept. 3. 


Lun Lun and Yang Yang arrived in Atlanta nearly 20 years ago and have given birth to seven offspring including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only two giant panda twins in the U.S. 


Fewer than 1,900 giant pandas are estimated to remain in the wild in China’s Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Of these, more than 1,200 live inside nature reserves. Zoo Atlanta said the twins are important ambassadors for long-term investment in wildlife conservation.


“By seeing the giant pandas here at the Zoo and making connections with their species, our visitors are also introduced to the challenges facing wild giant pandas in China,” Rachel Davis, director of communications at Zoo Atlanta said. “They are also able to know that by supporting Zoo Atlanta, they are directly supporting efforts for wild giant pandas.” 


Although the International Union for the Conservation of Nature downgraded the species’ status from endangered to vulnerable in 2016, giant pandas remain heavily reliant on conservation programs such as Zoo Atlanta. 


Ya Lun and Xi Lun will be given a birthday surprise on Sept. 3 at 10:30 a.m. and again between 1:30 and 2:15 p.m. Created by their care team, the enrichment package will include the twin’s favorite foods that are typical to their normal diets.