Le Le the Giant Panda dies at 24. What we know about Le Le and the species

Le Le, a Giant Panda at the Memphis Zoo, died Friday. He was 24 years old.

Here's what we know about Le Le and the Giant Panda species:

The life of Le Le

  • He was born July 18, 1998.

  • His name translates to "happy happy."

  • Le Le arrived at the Memphis Zoo in 2003 with a second Giant Panda, Ya Ya.

  • He was scheduled to be returned to China in the coming months. Ya Ya is still scheduled to return to China in the near future.

  • Le Le lived in an enclosure with a day room and playroom at the Memphis Zoo, where he enjoyed apples and covering himself in freshly shredded bamboo.

  • Le Le was a favorite of zoo visitors and of zoo employees. Courtney Janney, the zoo's chief zoological officer, said "He was known for his silly antics," adding that it wasn't unusual for Le Le to dramatically flop to the ground.

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Facts about Giant Pandas

  • Native to China, as few as 1,864 giant pandas live in their native habitat, while another 600 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world, according to the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

  • The Memphis Zoo is one of three zoos in the United States to have pandas courtesy of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens. The other two zoos are Zoo Atlanta and the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

  • Giant Pandas have a life span of 15-20 years. In human care, pandas can live upwards of 30 years.

  • Giant Pandas have lived in bamboo forests for several million years.

  • Giant Pandas aren't very tall, they stand between 2 and 3 feet tall at the shoulder, when on all four legs, and reach 4 to 6 feet long.

  • Males are larger than females, weighing up to 250 pounds in the wild. Females rarely reach 220 pounds, according to the Smithsonian.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: what we know about Le Le the Giant Panda and the species