I visited the Memphis Zoo on April 8. One down and 3 to go in the U.S. [The other 3 zoos are Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington DC, San Diego Zoo and Zoo Atlanta.]
I happened to luck out that a keeper was out to do Keeper Chat for the Pandas. We discussed the mating session. Le Le was so close but they think no cigars. Plus, Ya Ya cooperated this year about being in estrus during spring vs the other years whenever she felt like it. They gave her two anesthetized AIs and 3 voluntary AIs. The voluntary was explained to me as Ya Ya laid on her back and permitted the vet to insert a catheter that contained Le Le's sperm.
Also, MZ is doing a nutritional study with the pandas. They are fed more often than what San Diego Zoo does. It has come to the point the couple are spoiled. If they don't like the bamboo, they just ask for something else. I got to observe how finicky Le Le was today. I'm thinking he's still in the mood to salsa. [Poor captive U.S. male pandas -- wild male pandas can mate as many times as they want. They just need to find a willing female.]
Plus I found out that this couple does not like veggies other than bamboo and the leaf eater biscuits. They do not care for carrots or sweet potato. They rather fruit. Though Le Le seems to have given up on green apples *LOL*
I did convey to the keeper that the internet fans would love if they communicated more about Le Le and Ya Ya. The keeper did not know that they use to do a blog. She's only been working with the pandas for two years.
Will post pics later. In the meantime, enjoy my capture of Le Le in his pool