Though it's not quite like flying on Elvis's private jet, two panda bears from China will wing into Memphis in style. Le Le, a four year-old male panda, and Ya Ya, a two-year-old female panda, will travel on board a custom-decaled FedEx Express MD-11 jet, known as "The FedEx Panda Express" during a trans-Pacific journey this month. The pandas are part of an education and conservation program bet ween China and the United States.
FedEx Express will provide the necessary air transportation, ground transportation and logistical support to move the animals, which are currently quarantined at the Beijing Zoo in preparation for their trip. FedEx Express and the Memphis Zoo have worked together over the last five months to ensure all necessary precautions have been taken to provide a safe and comfortable flight for the pandas. Veterinarians from the Memphis Zoo, as well as the Beijing and Shanghai Zoos,have been granted special flight privileges so they can accompany the pandas onboard the plane. Le Le and Ya Ya, the only shipment aboard the FedEx Express MD-11, will be housed in two custom-built transport containers during their 15-hour flight.