The Memphis Zoo and Aquarium has revealed its latest mascot, and it’s not the giraffe, which is on the menu now, but a panda.
In a statement, the zoo said that panda Mei, whose name means ‘panda of the heavens’, was born and raised at the zoo and will be joining the team this year.
It said the panda is “dedicated to helping others through her love of the world and caring for all animals”.
The panda’s name means “panda that shines in the sun” and is an inspiration to all zoo visitors.
It’s also not the only one to make an appearance at the new Memphis Zoo in the new year.
The zoo has introduced two other new animals, the koala cub and the giraffes, as well as the tiger cub and its new companion.
“The koala and giraffe are just two of many exciting additions to our growing family of wildlife that will make Memphis Zoo the most welcoming, exciting and welcoming destination for the zoo’s visitors,” Memphis Zoo President and CEO Mark Fink said.
“We are so excited to welcome these animals into our Zoo and are looking forward to seeing them in the wild, enjoying our natural surroundings, and learning more about the wonderful people of Memphis.”
Mr Fink added that the koalas and giraffas were born and bred at the Memphis Zoo.
“Their natural habitat is a lush and pristine habitat, where they are able to grow and thrive, as they have never experienced these kinds of conditions before,” he said.
The Memphis zoo has announced it is now accepting applications for the next generation of panda cubs, which will be born on June 3.
“After our first two panda babies were born, we were so impressed with the amazing bond between them and their mother that we decided to create a new family,” Mr Finks said.
In January, the Memphis zoo opened its first baby giraffe cub.
The cubs will be able to be released into the wild and can live up to six years.
In 2018, Memphis Zoo opened its second giraffe baby, which was born in February.
The first giraffe babies at Memphis Zoo came from China.
“It’s important to us to be as inclusive as possible, and to make the right choices for the animals we have here, so we’re very happy to see our pandas in the zoo,” Mr Hutton said.
Memphis Zoo has more than 40 pandas and about 70 animals, including zebra, panda, bull, giraffe and wildebeest.
More to come.