Panda Viewing

Posted at 11:35 am December 22, 2005 by Ellie Rosenbaum

It’s been an exciting time at the viewing area of the Giant Panda Research Station. As visitors to Panda Cam may have noticed, the animal care staff is transitioning Bai Yun and Su Lin from their back areas to the viewing area for short amounts of time each day. Su Lin is proving to be a very smart little bear, finding her way in and out with great insight, if not great coordination. Not quite 5 months old, she is still practicing her crawling skills, with lots of tumbles to come.

The hard part for our many panda fans is that there is no set schedule and the bears are frequently given access to their exhibit bedroom and den, where they often nap. Depending on where they sleep the Panda Cam cameras may be able to focus on them and we can share this view with our Zoo visitors on our viewing area monitor. Getting a peek at the young cub is a great treat – but the most important thing is the comfort and well-being of Su Lin and Bai Yun. It could be a while before there are scheduled exhibit times for mother and cub and Su Lin has already discoverd snug places to nap both in and out of view.

Even the briefest glimpse of our little cub is proving to be a delight! Independant and inquisitive, she’s exploring the area. You may see her gnawing on branches or bamboo, but she is still being nourished by Bai Yun’s rich milk. Su Lin won’t begin to wean to bamboo and other food items until she’s 8 or 9 months old, but like all youngsters she gains a lot of information by feeling, smelling and tasting. She’s even begun climbing, little by little, and it will be all too soon before she masters this important panda skill – and disappears to the top of the trees, the safest place for cubs to rest!

Ellie Rosenbaum is a panda narrator at the San Diego Zoo.

” Adopt” Su Lin!

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114 Responses to “Panda Viewing”

  1. Cathy says:

    I got to see Su Lin last Sunday! and it was more than a treat! She is getting to be an assertive little girl! I hope that all the Panda lovers who are in Southern California can make the trip to the Zoo to see Su Lin, her parents and her big brother! to be able to see them in three dimensions is wonderful 🙂

  2. Kenna says:

    I’m so excited! My husband and I are heading down to San Diego for a Red Carpet Tour of the Zoo on Christmas Day! I am so hoping that, when I come to visit the pandas after the tour, Bai and little Su Lin will be out and about. I’ve been watching on Panda Cam every day, and our sweet little girl is getting bigger and bolder every single day 🙂

  3. Robin says:

    #1 you are very lucky! I went on Sunday as well, even checked the Panda Cam before I drove from North County…Su Lin was sleeping in the loft. I thought, by the time I reach the zoo, her nap should be over and she’ll be out exploring…no such luck. I will be back soon to (hopefully) see the little fluff ball! By the way, panda staff, regarding past comments on hiring a ” professional” to operate the cameras–I would much prefer zoo proceeds go to caring for the animals, rather than hiring a ” professional” Panda Cam operator. The cameras are a privilege and we are lucky to get even a glimpse of these amazing creatures! Thank you.

  4. Michelle says:

    On Thursday afternoon, is Su Lin sleeping on some branches outside? There is no zoom-in of the cameras, so I am not quite sure. Has anyone seen it?

  5. Carole says:

    Watched her on exhibit today for almost three straight hours — no napping — just climbing, playing with Bai Yun, chewing on bamboo, being dragged around the exhibit by Bai, etc. What a thrill! Life doesn’t get much better than that!

  6. Linda Swenson says:

    #4, Yes it is our little girl. She is draped over a branch just like a big girl. She’s already growing up too fast.

  7. Sharon says:

    Oh yes, Michelle (#4), you are right! Thanks for the heads up. It is Su Lin on the branches, because Bai Yun keeps moving in & out of the lower corner of the picture. And just now Su Lin lifted up her head and looked around, then went back to napping.

    I was so happy to see Tai Shan finally went outside in DC. He has given me many a chuckle lately as he plays with a ball, burlap sack, bamboo, and mom. All of you who have been able to see these little ones so far are soooo lucky.

    Sharon, Fort Worth, TX

  8. Eugena says:

    Su Lin is playing in the trees! I am so pround of her! She is one month younger than her cousin, yet she is one month eariler than him to explore the world!

  9. Shirley Sykes says:

    Ellie, thanks so much for your comments. I fully agree with Robin (#3)about the Cams being a special privilege for us, not a requirement on the zoo’s part, and that the costs of a full-time cam-operator are far, far better spent on the animals, their care and enrichment!!! My secret is to check in frequently, when possible. And when the pandas are not in view, I go to the other cams. A day or two ago I saw one of the polar bears trying to tackle a large cylinder of ice with goodies in it, little Moose, our baby elephant at the Wild Animal Park, carefully following mama along a well-trodden path, and little Cinta our 22-month-old orangutan swinging around on one of the climbing structures while mama Indah and grandma Josephine sat by, probably gossiping about the rest of the troop. Of course sometimes no animals are in sight, even as with the pandas, but, oh those moments when they are! Miraculous!!

  10. Loretta says:

    I have really enjoyed the Panda Cam in the past with the other cubs, but this time it seems that the subjects are so dark, you can’t even see what you are looking at. Even the outside shots are so dark. Why is that? Also, the time lapse goes so fast, I can’t tell what the pandas are doing. Sorry to complain, but I have watched all the cubs and enjoyed them so much but am not able to this time and it is such a disappointment.

  11. Susan Balcuns says:

    Hi!!

    We can’t see the latest video of your precious little girl (12/21). Can you please correct that?

    Thank You!!!!!! And we love you!!

  12. Margot says:

    I feel like one of my kids just left for overnight camp for the first time. Su Lin looks so cute hanging her head over a branch–just like her mom.

    Thanks for making it possible to see all the stages of her amazing growth.

  13. Suzanne says:

    Ellie, I have visited the pandas many times and wonder if you’re the wonderful narrator I usually see? Thank you for doing such a great job! You’ve always been able to answer my many questions and it is very much appreciated. Thank you ALL for your tremendous work with these beautiful bears!

  14. Amanda, UK says:

    Just wanted to wish everyone – pandas, zoo staff and volunteers, webmasters of this site and my fellow pandamaniacs – a happy Christmas! Thank you to all at the Panda Research Station for the joy you have brought us this year, I look forward to sharing in all the exciting adventures that 2006 will bring! Best wishes to everyone who reads this xx

    Amanda, UK

  15. Stacy says:

    That may be true, Eugena #8, but only because the staff at NPZ had a LOT of baby-proofing to do before letting Tai loose. That boy is fearless, and he would’ve been at the top of a tree before anybody realized it.

    Su Lin is getting there, too, now. She’s starting to really enjoy exploring. Bai had to take her out the first few times, now she’s out and about on her own. I look forward to seeing her and Tai every morning. Such a privilege.

  16. Roberta Smith says:

    Thanks for the great work! Happy holidays to all!

  17. Vickie says:

    Watching Mei Xiang with Tai Shan I can really relate to being a first time mom. Tai Shan is a handful and typical little boy with Mei Xiang hovering to make sure he doesn’t get hurt. On the other hand, Bai Yun is an experienced mom, cautious and watchful but not as anxious. You can also tell that Bai Yun is extremely comfortable with her keepers and feels safe in her environment. Bet that’s why she is taking Su Lin outside so early. Happy Holidays to the wonderful staff that provides us with this great opportunity to watch our baby pandas.

  18. Bernice says:

    Oh this is the sweetest sight… It’s a nice cool day outside and Su Lin is sitting up like a big little panda, snuggled right up against mom…side by side. Mom is munching away as usual. And Tai? Snuggled up with his favourite ball, napping like a blob of fur in his tub. 🙂 This is pure peace and joy… Happy Holidays my precious furry friends.

  19. ely says:

    you are very lucky, all of you. we live in chile (south america) and we are watching the pandas every day, every hour of the day since the cubs were born. but we can’t go to visit them cause I haven’t the visa ( official permision ) to entry to U.S.A. And I can’t get it. Maybe the next year We’ll try again to obtain the visa.We are very thankfull to the San Diego zoo for the opportunity of watching Bai Yun and her cub. It’s evident they do the work with a lot of love.

  20. Michelle says:

    Thank you, Linda & Sharon, for your responses. Su Lin yesterday took me by surprise. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t believe that she was already capable of sleeping in the trees. She has grown so fast, so did Tai Shan. I wish they could grow a little bit slowly and let me enjoy their ” baby stage” as long as possible.

    Wish everyone a very merry christmas and a very happy new year!

  21. Cécile says:

    Merry Christmas to all – Panda team, panda lovers, Gao Gao, Mei Sheng, Bai Yun and Su Lin!

  22. Wendy says:

    I was blessed to see Su Lin on Monday. The first time she was sleeping, but we came back later and she & Bai Yun were putting on a wrestling exhibition. It was adorable. I also was able to see Tai Shan on Dec 8th. My niece was one of the Pennies for Pandas winners so we got a 30 minute visit! All I can say is that I love both cubs and both mothers. All of their personalities are different, but lovable just the same.

  23. Al says:

    I have a quick question – I see that the cameras are now on the outdoor exhibit and I see some keepers/cleaners out there – How do you control the pandas from getting outside when there are people working, or are the ” bears” used to the keepers/cleaners and just continue on? I’ve been a big fan of Panda Cam for a long time now!

  24. Holly - Upstate NY says:

    A little bit of something interesting I found: From TIME Magazine – Monday, May 01, 1939

    ” Su-Lin (Chinese for ” A Little Bit Of Something Precious” ) was the first giant panda ever to reach U. S. shores alive. To capture it, Mrs. William Harvest Harkness Jr. spent $20,000 and many months in remote Tibet, two years ago gave the baby giant panda to Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. Mrs. Harkness introduced Su-Lin as a ” she,” and Chicago’s zoologists saw no reason to change the designation.

    Last April Su-Lin died. The body was given to Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History for dissection. By last week Anatomist D. Dwight Davis had nearly made up his mind that the panda, the bear and the raccoon shared a common ancestor. He had completely made up his mind about something else: Su-Lin was a male.”

    I’m still researching to find the reason for the first Su Lin’s death at just under 2 yrs old. Do any of you know the cause?

  25. Jeanette says:

    Wishing all the keepers of our wonderful pandas all the best for Christmas and the New Year. I have enjoyed watching Hua Mei, Mei Sheng and now Su Lin (and let’s not forget Tai Shan – bonus – 2 at once!!) for years. I love watching our baby pandas grow up! Someone on the NZ site called us panda watchers ‘pandarazzi’! Yes, I am a pandarazzi and proud of it!

  26. Dianna Waller says:

    I want to thank you for my Christmas Greeting from the San Diego Zoo. I wish all you wonderful people a Joyous Holiday Season and a wonderful 2006.

  27. gloria says:

    As you wrote, Ellie, the comfort and well-being of the bears are the most important things, of course.

    To Vickie (comment 17) : Mei Xiang seems to be more relaxed now, she was really anxious when Tai was younger. She does her best and loves her son. A few days ago, I saw that scene : Tai was sleeping on the platform in the den, Mei came to him, woke him up, gave him a hug and kiss and just went back to the exhibit. what a loving mom she is !

    THANKS to the Panda team for all they shared with us in 2005. Best wishes to everybody for the coming new year. I wish we would have many new panda cubs on earth in 2006.

  28. susan b says:

    I found the link to the pandacam for Tai Shan in the beginning of October. I was going through a very difficult time in my life. Watching Tai became the high point of my day. The love of Tai and his mother for each other is very special. I was amazed with all of his accomplishments. Now life is much better, but I thank God that He led me to this little baby bear. It showed me that there still was wonder and joy in life, and beauty to be found. When I found the San Diego site I felt double-blessed to add Su Lin to my life. Thanks to everyone involved in the care of these lovely babies, and Merry Christmas!

  29. Barbara says:

    #24 – Holly–Pandas did not live long in captivity until the past 20 years or so–in the U. S. anyway. My guess is they simply did not know how to care for them. They hadn’t perfected the necessary vaccinations for pandas and probably tried to feed them other foods. Did zoos even try to supplement their animals with vitamins then? If you can find records, I think you will find pandas did not live long in any of the zoos during the first half of the 20th century. (I saw a list on the NZ website a couple years ago of all pandas that had been in U.S. zoos; don’t know if it’s still there.) I know there was a pair at the St. Louis Zoo in the early 1950s–one of them didn’t live very long at all; the other survived for another 2-3 years.

    Thank goodness for the research and loving care our two adorable cubs are receiving, along with their wonderful loving mothers–and let’s not forget the dads! Kudos to the Panda Team, Keepers, etc.!!

  30. Sheila in Indiana says:

    To #24, Thank you for the 1939 Time article. According to the 2005 book, The Lady And The Panda, the first Su Lin died of pneumonia. The book is a well researched story about Ruth Harkness and her search for pandas and bringing them to the US, alive. Before her, the only pandas brought out of China were hunted and killed. I’m sure none of us can even immagine someone doing such a horrible thing as shooting pandas for their pelts. The book contains some really cute pictures, too.

  31. Candy says:

    Since I’ve had some time off this week I have thoroughly enjoyed watching our 2 cubs outside playing. I just so happened to be watching when Tai took his first steps outside and also when Su Lin climbed up to sleep on the tree! It’s hard to believe they are at this stage already! It seems like I was just watching their first weeks and hoping for ANY glimpse of a tiny cub.

    A huge thanks to all those involved in the wonderful work to save this most precious creature! I’ve enjoyed the months reading these interesting blogs. I wish all of you a very blessed Christmas season and wonderful year in 2006! Let’s hope for new cubs in Atlanta and Memphis this year. They deserve this incredible experience too!

  32. JOY says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the Zoo staff and a special thanks to all for Panda Cam – I am a new panda watcher from the Midwest and have fallen in love with these wonderful creatures – please give Su Lin a big kiss from a nurse in Iowa and tell her I wish iIcould do it in person – Su Li nd Tai Shan are growing up tooo fast and oh how cute they are – thank you all for sharing your pandas with us all – now back to panda cam xoxoxoxox

  33. mary bushnell says:

    I watched the mom and cub Thursday evening as they seemed to be wrestling in the dark on a tree limb but could not tell how far off the ground they were. I loved seeing them. Thank you for your blogs and wonderful work.

  34. Mary Tibiatowski says:

    I just want to wish the entire panda team a very Merry Christmas and a big thank-you for your excellent work. I’m sure keeping all us wanna-be keepers up to date adds to your workload and we all really appreciate it.

  35. Ryannon says:

    In partial answer to #24, there is a book you might be interested in reading. I was given a Christmas gift that I opened early, bad girl that I am. It is called ” The Lady and the Panda” by Vicki Constantine Croke. It is about Ruth McCombs Harkness and the first Su-Lin. I have only just started reading it but have regretted having to put it down. I even took it with me to dinner last night so I could read while I ate alone. She is an amazing woman and it is an amazing story. If you want to know about Su-Lin and Mei Mei, I would get that book.

  36. stacy says:

    Merry Christmas to Bai Yun, Gao Gao, Mei Sheng, and Su Lin! Also the Panda team, and all panda lovers out there. 2005 has been the ” year of the panda” for me. I’ve always thought they were adorable, but this is the first time I’ve really ” met” them and learned about them. I look forward to much more panda love in 2006!

    Also, a litle shout-out to Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and Tai Shan as well. They don’t have a blog of their own (another reason to praise the SDZ panda team and webmasters).

  37. Betty says:

    The pandas sometimes seem to me to be almost human. They show a wide range of emotions toward one another, but mainly love — especially between mother and child. Both panda moms seem totally in love with their babies. At times, Bai Yun seems as though she doesn’t want Su Lin to climb up the tree in their enclosure because she wants to keep hugging and kissing her. What devotion! It’s been such a blessing to watch these wonderful creatures. Merry Christmas to all the panda team for providing us with hours of watching pleasure, and for taking such good care of these animals.

  38. Judy J says:

    HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ALL THE CREATURES AND THEIR KEEPERS! XOXOXOXO LUV TO ALL, JUDY J

  39. Eugena says:

    This moring around 7-8am, Su Lin was alone in the exhibit area, climbing up and down. Then she hid herself behind the bamboo. Soon, mom emerged in the cam. she looked around as if she was looking for her girl. But she had no luck, then she headed back to the den and disappeared from the view. 🙂 typical family play, isn’t it! just love them!

  40. Rachel says:

    A blessed Christmas to all, Pandas and Panda lovers alike. It’s a joy to be part of this online community of panda admirers — I look forward to ” hearing from” all the regulars almost as much as watching the babies perfecting their cuteness. Thanks to SDZ for letting us participate in this way. Rachel in Cincinnati 🙂

  41. kb says:

    Needless to say that it’s the highlight of my day to read the blogs of all panda lovers. Thanks to you all that we learn more from each other besides the enormous amount of knowledge we get from the zoo staffs. I secretly wish that Su and Tai stop growing so fast. I will be away for 10 days and will not be able to get to the internet and realize that they will grow much bigger when I come back. Yesterday I saw Mei was so stressed out because she couldn’t find her son. She kept coming in and out of the den and went over the rocks over and over about 5 times. I kept yelling to the PC that Tai is sleeping in the tub. Well she finally found him and promptly yanked him out of the tub and held him in her arms and hugged him for a few minutes. Mother’s love is inmeasurable!! Merry Christmas to you all…

  42. Holly - Upstate NY says:

    To Sheila #30 – I am about 1/2 way thru my copy of The Lady and the Panda. I bought a copy and started it about a week after the post on this site from Shirley Busch who acually saw the first Su Lin @ Brookfield Zoo and has been and is now still volunteering at SDZ. (Go Shirley!) Ruth Harkness was made of strong stuff, I’ll say that! I did find one website on Female Explorers which stated that Su Lin died in April 1938 from choking on a stick, so, I wonder which is true? Pnemonia, or choking? Anyway, I also found out that the first Su Lin’s remains can actually be seen on a mounted exhibit at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History. Hmmmmmm – don’t know how I would react to that, but it sure sounds like an interesting piece of history!

  43. Kim O. says:

    I had the greatest fun in a long time on 12-22-05. Watching Mommy and daughter in their outside enclosure. Bai Yun would drag/carry Su Lin back to the den and not 2 minutes later she would march back outside following her Mom like a big girl. Watched this on and off for the better part of an hour and half. Couldn’t have picked a better day to log on and forget about the rat race that has become the Christmas Season. Have a nice Holiday.

  44. Valerie Warburton says:

    Hello Ellie and thank you for the latest information. I want to wish Suzanne and all of the keepers and volunteers and of course Bai Yun and Su Lin and all of the other pandas and animals throughout the zoo a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

    Lots of luv ‘n stuff

    Valerie Warburton – UK.

  45. Susan says:

    When I saw Mei yank Tai out of the tub–she was a worried mom. She held him so tightly and cradled him so gently that you knew she was distressed. She even went up to the window to signal for help. She is really a caring mom. We can all learn from Mei. What a better world it would be. Thank you so much to the staff for taking care of these wonderful animals. Merry Christmas to all.

  46. Lisa Anderson says:

    Ryannon, I agree on the 2005 book Lady and the Panda: whatta story! Love the pics, and Ruth is quite a lady. I will forewarn a bit here tho… there are some disturbing and heart-wrenching scenes in this book. But for all she accomplished I say hooray to Mrs. H. Her love of the pandas and genuine heart shine throughout the book.

  47. Lisa Anderson says:

    Bai Yun is having an extended Christmas huggle and kiss session with Su Lin. I cannot tell you how touched I am at this sight! The love of a mama bear for her cub is on display and tis a wondrous thing to behold.

    Merry Christmas to all, human and animal, at SDZ!

  48. Luann says:

    Merry Christmas to all bloggers, panda staff, and of course to our beloved pandas. God bless you all!

  49. Greg Tippitt says:

    To Ely #19 in Chile – If you Google for PANDA MANIA, you will find a site that lists zoos around the world that have either giant or red pandas. According to that site, Mexico still has both giant and red pandas, and might be closer and easier for you to visit.

    I have read that San Diego is working with the Mexico Zoo to help them with artificial insemination, so maybe Mexico will have a baby soon. The first baby giant panda, I ever saw, was a TV report of Mexico’s baby several years ago. A US TV newscast showed the Mexico baby on his first day in public. He walked out to some bright green grass and turned a somersault as if on cue for the cameras.

    My wife and I live in Knoxville, TN USA, where our zoo has had outstanding success with red pandas. Sadly the Atlanta and Memphis zoos are only 200 miles and have giant pandas, so the Knoxville zoo will not likely get the chance to see if they could translate their success with more than 50 red panda babies into an attempt to breed the giants. Atlanta’s current male red panda was born in Knoxville. Our little red guys may not be as famous as their large black and white cousins, but they are maybe even cuter, if that is possible. With Pandas, Cuteness is like infinity in mathematics. Infinity + 1 or Infinity times 2 are not greater than Infinity. They are all three equivalent. In Calculus terms, the cuteness value of all pandas, red or giant, approaches infinity.

  50. Valerie Warburton says:

    Hiya everyone,

    I hope you all had a good Christmas day, and best wishes to everyone. I have been watching Mum and Su Lin this evening/morning your time and feeling so glad that they are safe with everyone there in their own little home. The love, care and attention that is given to them is so very wonderful. I am speaking like this because I, along with the rest of my fellow islanders, have had our hearts broken by thieves who have stolen our baby penguin Toga from his Mum and Dad and from his wonderful home at Amazon World. The support from countries all over the world has been so heartening. I live about a 15 minute drive from where Toga was stolen from. At this time of writing 6.00 pm, there is still no news unfortunately. Please may I ask you all to say a prayer for his safe return.

    Thank you so much.

    Valerie Warburton – UK.

  51. Candy Coleman says:

    #50 – Valerie, I feel so bad about little Toga, you have my deepest sympathy. I, too, am praying for a belated Christmas miracle – his safe return to his mother. What a cruel world this can be sometimes. Thank God for the animals who make it all worth living. Candy in Iowa

  52. Eugena says:

    Wow! It is 11 am SDZ time, and mommmy and baby are napping peacefully together in the tree! side by side. What a sweet picture! Go SDZ!

  53. Amanda, UK says:

    Valerie (#50), it has been so terrible seeing Toga the baby Jackass penguin’s parents searching in vain for him, hasn’t it? Having seen the baby pandas made me realise how vulnerable little Toga is – he may look like a sturdy boy but he is still totally dependent on mum, just like Su and Tai. And, having seen the way the panda keepers love their charges, I’m not surprised that Toga’s keeper has been so distressed. It defies belief that no-one has come forward with information – how can someone hide a penguin from everyone they know? I’m with you, Valerie, in your hope that Toga is found in time and returned to his home and those who adore him. What a wonderful Christmas gift that would be.

  54. Lisa Anderson says:

    Valerie, I rewatched March of the Penguins yesterday and thought of Toga. I do hope he is safely returned, and shall keep him in my prayers.

  55. Sayuri says:

    I finally made it down to San Diego on Christmas day. Panda Cam worked really well in terms of figuring out when is the best time to visit Su Lin! I had some quality time with the girls and Gao Gao (OK, with a bunch of other people). I thought the exhibits and the pandas were bigger. And I was surprised how close you can get to them. Su Lin was a fuzzy fur ball of love, covered with dirt. She was exploding with cuteness! She seemed to like to explore her little world, examining everything that’s in front of her. And Gao Gao. He’s always eating. And he’s cool. Watching him eat makes me forget about yucky things in my life. He has this healing quality I can’t quite explain.

    Bai Yun is quite a character. While she was eating bamboo, she stopped and posed for cameras. Most of us didn’t realize what she was doing at first. I was in the back row and said, ” OMG, she’s posing…” Then everyone started taking pictures. I’d really like Miss B to stay in San Diego as long as possible. She’s a California girl now. I hope the zoo can extend her term.

    Now, I guess I have to make return trips (hello, membership) as I missed Mei Sheng this time and his time at SDZ is limited.

  56. Anne Wood says:

    Valerie, you’ve got my prayers for baby Toga. I cannot believe anyone could be so cruel. Please keep us updated.

    As for Mei’s vocalizations last night, I thought maybe her fresh bamboo was late due to the holiday. Keeping up with that darling bundle of energy, Tai, takes a lot of food. Forgive my anthropomorphizing, but I wish Tai’s dad, Tien, could come and give him a good romp. Maybe male bears like male boys do need their dad’s attention. SDZ, are the male cubs allowed with their fathers in any of the other facilities around the world? A big hug to both Tai, my wild child first love, and Su, the dainty princess who may turn into a ” tomboy” yet!

    Now, let’s get Toga home!

  57. kb says:

    To Valerie of UK, yes you’ve got my prayer. We went to Antartica last Jan. and encountered many penguins and we love them all and the babies are so sweet and curious. It was a life changing experience. Bless all animals, they so enrich our lives.

  58. Ryannon says:

    Oh my gosh, I was just reading about Toga. My eyes watered up when I read that mom and dad keep trundling around and going in and out of their nesting boxes looking for Toga. I sleep walk and when my son was a baby, I used to dream about him being missing from his crib and would be in a panic in my sleep, searching everywhere in the house for him. My husband would wake me up and I would be in tears and stay in tears just thinking about my baby being missing. Animals are no different than we are when it comes to babies. This is heart wrenching and now probably too late for the baby if he is ever found. The thief will have a very special place on a very deep level of hell for what he/she has done. I just hope this hasn’t scarred Kyala to the point of not having another.

  59. Carol in California says:

    To#55- what a wonderful treat it was to hear about your visit. I haven’t been able to watch the panda cam as much this holiday break so it was very wonderful to hear of your visit. When I watch the time lapse I feel like I’m watching ” where’s su lin?” Like where’s Waldo. Her head pops up every now and then. It still is as enjoyable as when she was born. Thank you

  60. Michelle says:

    My prayers for Toga.

  61. Susan says:

    I think whoever took Toga is despicable. How can anyone steal a baby still dependent upon its parents for life. It is probably too late but I hope this does not repeat itself. It is heart wrenching to know that the parents are constantly searching for their lost little one. May God watch over Toga.

  62. just_another_panda_fan says:

    Did anyone watch as the panda keeper at 12:50pm (PST) cleaned the exhibit while Su Lin wasn’t even disturbed as she was just sleeping on the branch in the middle of all the cleaning? The keeper even left a little treat right next to her, and Su Lin still didn’t move! That little cub is definitely ” sleeping like a bear!”

  63. Cheryl says:

    Oh what a sweet and adventurous little girl we have. She just has one big adventure after another – then just takes in the world, most often from the comfort of her favorite branch. Just a moment ago, she was sitting next to mom, watching her eat bamboo… no doubt she is wondering what’s so fascinating about the stuff. What an adorable sight – I will need to go to the zoo soon and check her out in person – can’t wait. I hope everyone involved with their care had a wonderful holiday and a very good new year! Thanks for all your work, and give the girls a kiss for me (and the boys too!).

  64. Cheryl says:

    OK – now Bai and Su Lin are back in the bedroom. It’s looks exactly like an argument that someone would have with their toddler. It looks like mom wants Su Lin to eat more – but she keeps wrestling lose and heading for the door, no doubt saying ” Mom, I’m full, I don’t want to eat anymore. I want to go back out and play!” But Bai Yun is not giving up… and they are having quite the tussle, with lots of cuddles mixed in. How sweet!

  65. susan b says:

    I cannot conceive of the mind that would consider separating a mother and a child. I hope that Toga is found and returned to its parents. How sad.

  66. Bernice says:

    Toga’s story just broke my heart… 🙁 I can’t imagine what kind of cold-blooded monster (can’t use the word I have in mind) would do such a thing!! The poor baby and his parents… I just wish that he’s ok…even if it’s too late, please please let this kind of tragedy never happen again!!

  67. Sheila in Indiana says:

    To Holly #42. It’s been a while since I read The Lady And The Panda, but I do remember that Su Lin had a stick stuck in her throat, but that she died of pneumonia. If I’m mistaken, please let me know. Also, my heart goes out to the parents of Toga and their keepers. I hope the despicable person who stole the poor little baby is found and punished severely. I know that he/she will be held to account for such cruelty in another life, if not in this one.

  68. Candy Coleman says:

    SHI SHI LOVERS!! I had read some disturbing blogs from travelers to China regarding Shi Shi and couldn’t find out anything about him. So, I just wrote to the Zoo (where he is currently living) and rec’d this reply – I hope it is the truth.

    Dear Candy,

    Shi Shi is living happily in our zoo at the present. The cool weather makes him feel more comfortable. Unfortunately, he is confronted with the senile cataract because he is too old. He is under perfect care of our zoo staff, he is fine at the moment.

    I will send his picture to you in the coming days. Please take your times.

    Thank you very much for your e-mail. I really appreciated for your kindness and love to Shi Shi.

    If you need more information about Shi Shi, please don’t hesitate to write to me. I’ll be at your sevice.

    best, regards,

    Mr. Wang Jing

    Web Adminstrator

  69. Judy J says:

    How terribly devastating for Toga and his parents and their keepers and all concerned. The person responsible for this tragedy has no heart and no soul! Every life is precious no matter how large or how small. Little Toga must have been so frightened. I can’t imagine what was going through this heartless person’s mind. MY prayers and love to Toga and his parents and his keepers. And my hope for a miracle and his return. Love, Judy J

  70. Anniekins says:

    Happy holidays to the Zoo staff and all pandacam watchers! 🙂

    It’s been a joy watching mother and baby sleeping on the branches outdoors. Thank you again to the panda team!

    My thoughts go out to Toga and his extended family, penguins and humans included.

  71. Rose Nowicki says:

    What a joy to watch Bai Yun and Su Lin side-by-side this morning. I find myself smiling while they go about their early morning outing. I especially enjoy watching Su Lin mimicking her mommy eating the bamboo leaves. THEY LOOK SOOO CUTE! I was fortunate to visit them both two weeks ago. While at the exhibit, after waiting about 10 minutes, we saw Panda Keeper Joanne carrying a sleepy Su Lin and placing her in the new lair. Later, Joanne joined the crowd of happy visitors. I was able to meet and spend a few moments talking to her about all our beautiful pandas, especially about her caring for Su Lin (truly an enviable job). Thanks so much Joanne for spending your precious time with me and all the other visitors. The beautiful happy smile on your face that day told me that you truly love your job caring for the bears.

    P.S. Thank you Candy #68 on the update regarding Shi Shi. I’m glad he’s doing well.

  72. Barbara says:

    #68 – Candy, thank you for corresponding with the zoo about Shi Shi and for posting the reply you received. If you write to them again, will you please ask how old Shi Shi is? I read that a zoo in Germany says they have the oldest captive panda, then we saw about the old panda Basi’s celebration of her birthday. I think Shi Shi is somewhere between 26-29???? Thanks.

  73. Michelle says:

    I JUST saw Su Lin fall off of a branch and my heart is in my throat…I hope she is ok!!!

  74. Michelle says:

    Ok PHEW!!! Just saw Su Lin, she’s walking, nothing appears to be broken. I swear my heart stopped for about 10 minutes. I was ready to pick up the phone and call the zoo!!! I love this little girl so much!! 🙂

  75. TAMI MICHAUD says:

    I got in to see her Friday 23….she’s so petite compared to her cousin in D.C…..she’s very dainty…and a little bit of something very cute…precious…

  76. Loriann says:

    As a former San Diegan, I LOVE the Panda Cam. I have some of the captured images of Bai Yun and Su Lin on my phone. I will be there in person on 1/7 and hope to see them bright and early. Everyone at the Zoo does a great job. Keep up the labor of love!

  77. Betty says:

    I heard on the network news tonight that the little penguin – Toga – has not been found, but the zoo says the parents appear to be building a new nest, so perhaps they will have a new baby soon. How sad that someone has to steal an animal that is so vulnerable.

  78. Luann says:

    I had the privilege of rewatching two Animal Planet features on the SNZ pandas (recorded earlier on my vcr) this afternoon. One was when Mei and Tien first came to the Zoo in late 2000 (Meet the Pandas). The other was the new one on Tai: A Panda Is Born. If you missed the newest one, get your vcr or dvd recorders ready. Animal Planet is planning on rebroadcasting the newest one twice on New Year’s Eve. Both of those shows demonstrate the dedication and joy of the keepers. We also know that San Diego Zoo’s staff also has that same joy and care of our pandas. God Bless! Luann

  79. James says:

    Is Su Lin all right?

    I’ve heard that she fell off a branch, and we can’t see anything on the webcam.

    I want to know whether she is all right.

  80. Katie says:

    Is Su Lin really ok? Why was the webcam turned off shortly after she fell?

  81. MJ says:

    I just saw Su Lin up on the platform-and a trainer putting something up there! It looked like a dustpan, but I’m not sure… it seemed rather odd though.

  82. Dianne says:

    I became a Zoo Mom to Su Lin as a gift (one of many, I’m sure! – and that’s OK!). My day is not complete unless I can check on her and her REAL mom. I live in Missouri and have watched ~and so enjoyed~ the pandas since the birth of Hua Mei. Thank you San Diego Zoo for providing this opportunity to those who look on from afar.

  83. Eugena says:

    This morning, I saw a keeper pick up Su Lin from her ” San Diego Condo,” hug her and then bring her to somewhere. very sweet.

  84. Loh says:

    Although Su Lin is petite, and looks so dainty, I have the feeling that she is more daring than her cousin in DC.

  85. Eugena says:

    I agree with # 84 Loh! Su Lin is definitely more daring than her cousin who still spends a majority of his time indoors! Su Lin is already exploring the outside. She is not afraid of falling off the tree and her San Diego Condo! She is truly fearless!

  86. Candy Crane in Iowa says:

    Thanks Candy in Iowa from another Candy in Iowa! I was so glad to read your info on Shi Shi. I have wondered about him so many times. Our precious Hua Mei is his only child but she has done a fantastic job of passing his genes on with her 2 sets of twins!

    I also check daily to see if there is any news of poor baby Toga – HORRIBLE ordeal!

  87. Cathy G. (L.A.) says:

    It looks like Su Lin is walking around the exhibit and she seems fine, from what I can see on camera 4. It’s hard to wait until the camera is on her again after she falls, but she must be sturdier than she looks! I just saw Tai curled up in his tub. I’ll bet he will outgrow it soon.

    I was gone for several days and missed our Panda Blog and ” our” bears. It’s nice to know they are all being cared for so well, thanks to the wonderful SDZ staff.

  88. Rita says:

    Bai wants to go inside with her baby. Wouldn’t you know, just when you announced their viewing hours.

  89. Karen K in Vancouver says:

    Bai Yun seems very agitated. She has been pacing non-stop through the exhibit for the last 20 minutes (it is 11:04 AM) and spends an awful lot of the time carrying Su Lin and checking the doors to the enclosures. I have never seen her display this kind of behaviour before. Su Lin seems very confused by this.

  90. Bernice says:

    It’s definitely showing that Su is just as playful as Tai… 🙂 I wouldn’t say Tai is any less fearless though, just because he stays indoors. It’s because all his favourite toys are inside! It might be good to move his toys outside so he’s encouraged to go out more. 🙂 Su is still a bit hesitant in terms of climbing (down from her loft), but she’ll learn in no time!

  91. Karen K in Vancouver says:

    It is now 11:20 and Bai Yun has finally quieted down and is going to take a nap. I guess she wanted to hide Su Lin inside before napping!

  92. Loriann says:

    Tai seems to be far more playful with his mom than Su Lin- I mean physical rough housing kind of stuff. I see Bai Yun walking the perimeter of the exhibit area and it’s 12:40 San Diego time now. She appears restless, almost like she’s looking for Su Lin. I can’t wait to see these two in person along with hopefully Gao Gao and Mei Sheng. Back to Insane Diego in a week for a visit! 🙂

  93. Linda Swenson says:

    Goodness, Bai seems restless today. Earlier she kept moving Su Lin to different spots but not to a den. I get the feeling she’s anticipating something…either a treat or the rain. I wonder what Pandas do when it rains. Snuggle up or cavort?

  94. Barbara says:

    When comparing Su Lin and Tai to being inside or outside–we must remember the very different climates at the two zoos. Although the pandas enjoy colder temperatures, it was very, very cold in DC last week. It seems logical that the keepers might want to protect Tai from the too cold temps, and possibly the door isn’t always open for him to wander out. On the other hand, the passageways are probably always open in San Diego.

  95. Linda Swenson says:

    Bai Yun is enjoying a fresh portion of bamboo. Before she sat down to eat, she spent several minutes either licking or sniffing select spots. Perhaps the keepers left something interesting for her. I just love the newest video of Su Lin and have already played it several times.

  96. Pamela G says:

    Bubba Tai was outside playing in the rain this morning, being his usual boisterous, bumptious self. I suspect that the Princess Su Lin, while petite, is as tough as her cousin. Let’s not forget that they are bears. Bumps, thumps, and tumbles are as normal for baby bears as for children.

    It’s great to hear that the old gentleman, Shi Shi, is well cared for.

    As for the cruel, stupid criminal(s) who stole Toga, one can only hope that they are caught, prosecuted, and shunned by everyone who has the misfortune of being acquainted with them. They rank right down there with the idiots who buy baby tigers on the black market then try to raise them in their homes. Sometimes I think that secure zoo enclosures are not just to keep the animals in, but also to keep stupid people out.

  97. Rita says:

    When Bai is agitated, like she was this morning, have you ever tried throwing her a special treat? One time The National Zoo threw a fruit juice popsicle to Mei to help settle her down.

  98. Cécile says:

    The new video of Su Lin is great. She is a little bit of furry thing very cute and lovely. What a great climber she is! Of course ’cause she is petite. She is very agile. The video is not very long. We will be very happy if you can provide longer videos in the future.

  99. Betty says:

    Regarding the pacing of Bai Yun — I’ve seen her do that a lot. Sometimes she does laps around the enclosure. I wonder if it’s just her way of getting exercise since she doesn’t have to walk a lot to find food as she would in the wild. About Mei and Tai – last night about 7 or 8:00 DC time, Mei was really giving Tai a workout with a wrestling match. I wondered if she was trying to wear him out so he’d let her sleep through the night. One night I checked in about 2 a.m. their time, and poor Mei was not getting any rest at all. Tai was walking all over her, chewing her ears, etc. He pushed her off the big bed onto the floor so he could play on the bed. I guess the only way to prevent that is to make sure he’s good and tired earlier in the evening.

  100. susan b says:

    Right now Tai is outside sleeping next to the fence line. He looks so peaceful but it is hard not to be worried because it is 6:50 pm! I feel like an anxious mom waiting for my child to come home and get inside to safety. I hope someone takes him in soon. Ever since baby Toga the penguin was stolen I worry about our baby panda bears. How evil people can be at times.

  101. susan b says:

    Yippee! Tai is inside and trying to wrestle with the ever-patient Mei as she tries to eat her supper. She is such a good mom to him. For a first time mother you have to give her props for doing it right. I would think that having Tai as a first child would be like giving birth to a whole worldwide championship wrestling team! Earlier I watched the latest video of Su Lin when she was doing head stands. I laughed out loud at her antics. She is so sweet and has such a sense of humor. I think she knows that she is amusing those she cares for as they try to do their work. What a beauty! Thanks NZ and San Diego for giving us a chance to watch our babies grow up.

  102. Elin (in Sweden) says:

    The latest video with Su Lin is really lovely. It looks like she giggles when the vet examines her belly! She is also a tough girl. I have never seen Tai climb so fearlessly as when she hangs from the tree with her front paws. I hope you give her lots of toys to play with!

  103. Sayuri says:

    Maybe the bigger-than-usual crowd (possibly too noisy) and media presence made Bai Yun uncomfortable. I watched the time lapse video and she kept sitting facing her back to the humans (and the camera) all afternoon.

  104. Carol from California says:

    I just got back from my 1st visit to see Bai Yun and Su Lin today. I was there during the period that many of you noticed Bai pacing. I noticed it too. She seemed very restless when she went up the branches to take her usual mid-day nap. Su Lin was asleep the first time I went through and the second time she was buried under all the Bamboo. I heard from someone in the line that the two teams that are playing in the holiday bowl were there the day before. And today the line was endless, even though it moved at a very constant pace. I think Mama and Su Lin had more visitors then they expected and many of them children who couldn’t contain their excitement. Who could blame them? All and all it will be a day I will cherish and remember all my life. All I could do was smile and hold back a tear or two, to see our Panda Bears growing up. What a treat!!!

  105. Kay Ng says:

    Hi Susan, I am like you. After learning about baby Toga was stolen, I started to worry if some sicko tries to hurt our baby pandas.

  106. Margaret says:

    I notice the doctors don’t wear masks when they handle Su Lin. Are human germs/colds transferrable to pandas?

  107. Loriann says:

    At 2:25 I began watching Su Lin trying to get out of the bedroom (C7) via the chunk of a tree branch that is propped up against the platform. She has a definite sense of height and after a couple of tries walked cautiously down that seemingly steep branch head first instead of backing down. It was so cute. I found myself saying out loud ” Just back down, Su Lin.” She appears to have accomplished her goal! You GO, Su Lin! 🙂

  108. Candy Coleman says:

    Good morning and Happy New Year to all of you – zoo staff, fellow panda parents, and all our furry, fuzzy, feathered friends!! #72 Barbara, I received an email from Mr.Wang Jing regarding Shi Shi, and they are giving his estimated birthdate as 1977. He also sent me a report on everything from his health, favorite foods, temperment, etc. Shi Shi is the only panda they have and they ” say” he has his own swimming pool, air conditioner, and water spray equipment. They are hoping to get two more pandas soon.

    #86 – Hello Candy from Iowa! Wonder if the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha will ever get pandas. I’m afraid I’ll never see them in person if they don’t.

  109. Lisa Anderson says:

    Thanks so much for the news on Shi Shi. I am happy to hear he is doing well!

  110. Cuquis says:

    I was in Kent, England for the last 2 weeks, and knew about little Toga. People were disturbed to know that somebody could take a baby from his mom. I hope this never happens again. On the other hand, I am so happy to be back to my baby little Su Lin, I live about a mile from the SDZ and today I will buy a membership to the zoo. I decided that my exercise will be a walk to the zoo every day! Lucky me. =)

  111. Cheryl says:

    My mom purchased a Zoo membership – and she gets her daily exercise by walking at the Wild Animal Park in Escondido (closer to her house). I can’t think of a better way to get exercise than by enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the zoo/wild animal park and seeing the amazing creatures within! I think I may need to do that as well – I think it will be one of my new year’s resolutions!

  112. Amanda, UK says:

    I sympathise with all the people who saw Su Lin fall from a branch and then worried about her so much that they felt like calling the zoo – I’m five hours ahead of Washington DC and once saw Mei Xiang huddled up in the night (her time) making a weird, gruff noise as though she wasn’t breathing properly. I flew into a panic and was all ready to ring the zoo’s nightime security staff when she shifted position and it was clearly OK. I have since found out that Mei Xiang is something of a snorer!!!!

  113. Patricia Chapman says:

    I often come online to see the little girl but it’s so dark I am unable to see her much. I have been watching her ever since she was born, she is such a sweetheart. I live in Kansas and cannot travel out to see her. So I watch the cams. Thank you for all the good work and info updates on her.

  114. Mary Lou says:

    Just saw the cutest picture of Su Lin sleeping up in the tree. I tried to send it as a postcard and got an error message. Is there something wrong with the postcard process? It was the best pic I have seen of her. Hope there will be more.

    Editor’s note: We are trying to resolve the postcard problem.