Panda Tales on KPBS

Posted at 1:22 pm September 5, 2008 by Yadira Galindo

For 12 months, panda fans around the world have seen glimpses of our little panda cub Zhen Zhen on Panda Cam. Many fans ask us for more. You want to see what we see, get to know her as we do. Well, your chance is finally here, thanks to PBS Television! In cooperation with the San Diego Zoo, PBS has produced a TV program that follows our Precious cub from day one to her crazy antics on her first birthday. Panda Tales debuts in San Diego this Sunday, September 7, at 8 p.m. on the local PBS station: KPBS channel 15, cable 11.

I have had the pleasure of watching ZZ from her first veterinary exam. I admit to finding myself cooing when she wiggled her tail or smiling when I heard her vocalize for the first time (see Yadira’s blog, Cooing over the Cub). I worried when she’d take a tumble and I laughed as she bit her mom’s ear. Unlike her dedicated keepers, I’ve only watched ZZ from behind a table or behind the scenes. For her safety and mine, I don’t get to touch or handle the cub. Still, I have to admit that I’ve been pretty lucky as I help to coordinate the documentation and publicity of this little girl. Yes, I have been ZZ’s own publicist and I couldn’t be happier. I have been in the exam room many times and been there before the Zoo opens to see her with no one but her keepers around.

Now it’s time to share! You’ll get to see what I saw during those exams, during her first attempt to climb a tree or the first time she played with a ball. It was caught and you’ve seen short takes on our Web site, but Panda Tales is a fun year in the life of Zhen Zhen. Great music was created just for Panda Tales. And of course, you’ll get a chance to see Bai Yun and Gao Gao as well. You’ll even get a brief look at the ” making of” little ZZ!

So tune in Sunday at 8 p.m. and you’ll be the first to see Panda Tales. You’ll hear from Dr. Ron Swaisgood, co-head of the San Diego Zoo’s Giant Panda Conservation Unit, as he talks to PBS live about the Zoo’s work with pandas in San Diego and China. Dr. Meg Sutherland-Smith, whom I am very jealous of, will also be at KPBS live. Dr. Meg, as we love to call her, was the Zoo’s veterinarian who not only was the first to examine ZZ at two weeks old, but also was the vet who told us Bai was pregnant with ZZ before she gave birth last year.

Yadira Galindo is a public relations representative for the Zoological Society of San Diego.

For panda fans outside of San Diego, Panda Tales will be distributed nationwide, but will not be available for broadcast in other markets until November 30, 2008. PBS stations will be putting together their November and December schedules in a few weeks, so check with your local station after that to see when they have the show scheduled.

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132 Responses to “Panda Tales on KPBS”

  1. Carol says:

    How nice for you in San Diego! What about the rest of us Panda Fans all over the world who don’t have the convenience and luxury of running over to SDZ anytime we feel the ” Panda Urge” ? Will you be so kind to let us know the date and time that it will be shown later in the year? In the mean time, keep up the good work that all of you do, caring for these awesome animals!



  2. Marilyn says:

    I do not know the process of having this documentary purchased and shown in our area, but I did send an email to our local PBS network. Hopefully they will get in touch with you, and we will be lucky enough to see it in the Tampa /St. Peterburg Florida area. I am totally upset that we will miss it this week!! It will be a complete success I am sure! Marilyn

  3. Darlene says:

    Thankyou so much for the little clip/preview of the show. I have no idea if I get KPBS ( I have satellie), I’ll be going through all 800 channels to find out…. ๐Ÿ™‚ I know I’ll be waiting for the DVD to come on sale.

    What a joy it must have been for you Yadira, to follow the expertise care that Little Missy has been given over the past year and how adorable she is… I don’t think I could have standed not being able to hold her though (just teasing, I know it was for your safety)… But to be so close to all the Bears and their keepers, you indeed are very lucky.

    What a past few days it’s been, we have Mei Lan and Bai’s birthdays coming up and a new baby boy cubbie for us all to cherish. Sounds like he is doing better, but with a great Mom like Lun Lun, how could he not?

    Have a great weekend Panda Fans, and for those of you that live in San Diego and will for sure get to watch Panda Tales.. ENJOY!!!!!

  4. Deborah M. Brewer says:

    I too would love to see the KPBS show….do you know if the Los Angeles area PBS stations will be showing Panda Tales in the near future?? Inquiring Panda Mind hopes to view the show.

    Thank you


  5. Tony De -CleawaterFL says:

    Happy Birthday to Bai Yun. She sure can be mischeivous just like her half brother Tian Tian at NZ. Bai, Mei Xiang, and Lun Lun sure are great panda moms. Hopefully Ya Ya at Memphis Zoo will show off her mothering skills soon.

    Bright Future (AKA Rocky) seems to be doing well. He might be 1/900th of Lun Lun’s weight, but his squawk decible level is 900 TIMES his size also!

  6. pandafan says:

    Hello panda lovers,

    New video alert: piggy-backing on to the entry #26 Jan in Richmond, VA from the previous posting ” The Boy’s Back In Town” . Jan mentions seeing Mei and Tian together on the cam. There are three great videos of Mei and Tian showing them interacting and playing together in late August and Sept. 4. Just go to and search ” Mei Xiang and Tian Tian” then sort by Date Added. Mei is playing her usual ‘hard-to-get’ game with Tian, but that Tian doesn’t easily take ‘no’ for an answer!! Enjoy!!

    So glad to see that Lun Lun and her cub are doing well. That little one has just thrived in the last few days and, yes, continued prayers and wishes for a healthy journey for our new panda prince in Atlanta.

    Happy birthday, Bai Yun!! Enjoy your apple slushies and have a wonderful day!!

  7. Frances in NYC says:

    Oh, so jealous of those of you who’ll get to see Panda Tales this weekend. I know one of our PBS stations said they had no plans to run it, so I hope the DVD comes out soon.

    Happy birthday, beautiful Bai Yun–enjoy those apple slushies!

  8. Karina says:

    What are your thoughts on the new panda cub at Zoo Atlanta?

  9. Eva says:

    Thank you for all the staffs who helped coordinate for Panda Tales! I don’t live in San Diego, but I’m looking forward to it. Just from the short clip, it looks like it will be an excellent documentary of ZZ.

    I read from earlier post comments that Panda Tales will be on PBS stations in Oct/Nov for the rest of the country, and the DVD will not be out until next year.

  10. Marti in OR says:

    I too want to see/own that video Panda Tales ASAP, if you go to the KPBS website (dot org) you will see a link in upper right corner to join their public telly station and get it for the $75 donation level. I’m thinking about it because i don’t want to wait until our local has its winter fundraising and try to record it in between pledge breaks! I imagive it comes in the mail, in the not too distant future. She was meltingly adorable then and is a real beauty now, i forgot how little she was when she first went outside! Hasn’t it been fun watching her grow?

  11. Marti in OR says:

    P.S. it’s under the TV menu at the top; I didn’t see where it said it’d be out next year, but that might make more sense if other PB stations want to use it for their fund drive weeks. Maybe I’ll wait until we go to the zoo next year and maybe it’ll be in the gift shop at SDZ! it’ll be hard to wait though…

  12. Mary Lou says:

    I have researched our local PBS stations here in San Jose and they can’t tell me anything. We get a monthly catalog of satellite stations which also includes PBS stations. I will be searching them as each new monthly edition comes out and I am also a pandaholic and can’t get enough of those sweet panda bears. Waiting anxiously also to see more vides of AZ’s baby boy!

  13. Candy in Iowa says:

    What a great video clip! The song is so cute, too. I’m so jealous of you who get to watch it so soon. I guess we just have to be patient until our turn comes. I’ll certainly be waiting to see it!

    Happy Birthday Queen Bai!

    Sounds like things are settling down at ZA and little Rocky (like the nickname too) is really thriving under Lun Lun’s and his keepers great care! Thankfully……

  14. marcia519 says:

    Oh I really hope our local PBS stations will pick this up.

    Thanks for the clip. It is too cute, but it just leaves me wanting more!

  15. Mary Ann FTL says:

    Thanks so much for the info about ” Panda Tales!” My local PBS station will not be showing it but I hope to see it in your Zoo Store one day! Zhen Zhen is adorable and it has been a privilege and a pleasure to watch her grow up and to observe Bai’s wonderful mothering skills! Thank you to the staff and keepers at the SD Zoo for the wonderful job they continue to do with your pandas!

  16. Ruth says:

    Thank you for the lovely clip of little Zhen Zhen which was heartwarming. Unfortunately living abroad I am unable to watch Panda Tales but hope for the DVD to come out next year. However, I had the pleasure of viewing Fu Long on DVD which I enjoyed tremendously. There was also a sweet book published on Fu Long featuring him from his birth up to now, lots of antics and climbing activities and teasing his mom. An extra in this book were gorgeous drawings of pandas which make the book very special. Therefore, I must not moan not being able to receive your TV-programme.

    Happy birthday to Bai Yun who is such a wonderful mother. Bai Yun, you can have your cake and eat it, if you want to. I am pretty sure that you are going to share with Zhen Zhen, won’t you?

    I have been checking up-dates on Lun Lun’s baby and I am very relieved that the crisis is hopefully over. But I keep on praying for little Rocky or Bright Future.

  17. Carole says:

    Happy Birthday, Beautiful Bai Yun! You are the panda I would most like to interview. If only I could ask you 10 questions.

    Moderator’s note: Just curious, Carole: what 10 questions would you like to ask Bai Yun?

  18. Carol says:

    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday dear Bai Yun, Happy Birthday YOU! You are truly the most awesome Mama Panda in the world, and I hope you have many more!!!!



  19. Diana says:

    I live in Los Angeles and our PBS is KCET and I emailed them three days ago if they’ll air it anytime soon, and they said not in the near future ๐Ÿ™ …I also emailed KPBS if they will be selling copies, as most PBS shows do, but I havent gotten a response yet…Im still crossing my fingers to be able to watch this.

  20. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi, you all! This is the first chance I had to get on my computer tonite! Went to my parents’ house to help with the cleaning, and then had other things to do after I got home. Plus, my son had the computer playing his favorite game. Finally got him booted off!

    Anyway, I got the chance to see the short video from youtube on a short part of Panda Tales. ZZ was so cute with her little fuzzy self! Can’t wait to see the whole program when my Tampa PBS station gets the program in Nov. or Dec. I will be checking the listings for the day and time of when it will be on starting November 1!

    Just checked the AZ panda keepers update for today, Sat., 9/6 about Lun and her cub. The cub lost a little bit of weight early this morning, but really gained right back and then some later in the day! How does 172 grams sound, you all?? That’s a very healthy weight gain for the little guy if you ask me! Lun is continuing to take very good care of him, and the keepers said that they are hearing alot of nursing sounds from the cub. That is extremely encouraging! They still do not have the cam on 24/7 yet. If they don’t get the cam back on the 24/7 schedule showing us Lun and cub over the weekend, I’ll call AZ again to find out when the keepers will have it back on Lun and the cub. Been missing out watching them this whole week! BUMMER!! I missed going on the pandacam when it was on today, so I’m hoping that it is on tomorrow (Sat.) with Lun and her cub on the screen!

    I haven’t even been on any pandacam today! So, after I get done writing this, I’ll check a couple of pandacams tonite, and I’ll definitely get on the cams tomorrow!


    Gotta go! By the way, to all of you San Diego State Univ. fans, Notre Dame beat SDSU today! Hope they will be able to win next week’s game! They almost pulled off an upset until ND got going good!

    Gotta go! Love to all the pandas!

    Chari Mercier ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

  21. Diana says:

    BTW, I know this is way off topic but for all those nintendo DS owners, there’s a new game coming out on nov. 30 thats just like nintendogs but pandas instead! woo hoo!its form the national geographic and its called, ” panda” … I know im going name one after Zhen Zhen ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!

  22. Kristi in Dallas says:




  23. Margot says:

    Happy birthday, most beautiful momma bear Bai Yun! Hope your day is filled with special treats for you who have brought us so much joy with your four adorable cubs and your sweet Gao Gao. Thank you to everyone at SDZ who has given so much love and care to our ” White Cloud” and allowed us all the fabulous views of her life.

  24. Loriann says:

    I’m looking forward to viewing the Panda Tales program when my local PBS station carries it. I will get to see ZZ, Su, Daddy Gao and Madame Bai Yun in mid-October. ๐Ÿ™‚ When business travel calls me to my former hometown, I’m all too happy to go and visit the zoo also! Today is Bai Yun’s 17th birthday and I wish her to have some special treats and playtimes with ZZ if she feels like it! Bai Yun is such a gift to not only the SDZ, but to the important research for this endangered species. She is a wonderful mother! See you Pandas soon!

  25. Jeri says:

    Happy Birthday beautiful Bai Yun! Enjoy your apple slushies!!

  26. Cindy Ferguson in Sacramento, CA says:

    Happy Birthday, Bai Yun! We were so lucky to see you recently, and we love you so much. Enjoy your treats!

    Love, Cindy and Randy

  27. Carol says:



  28. Dianne in Texas says:

    Today is Sunday, and I am watching ZZ doing her acrobatic stunts. I couldn’t believe it when I saw her take a fall from a tiny tree limb she was clinging to, but I really couldn’t believe it when, after some comfort from Bai Yun, she went right back up the same tree, and fell again! Daredevil Panda ZZ! I don’t know how they do it. Guess it’s all a part of their rites of growing up. But it made my heart speed up a little. (Maybe that was good.) Funny part is, Bai Yun didn’t miss a beat eating her boo.

  29. Chari Mercier says:

    AZ update for Sun., 9/7, 2008: Keepers and vets checked the cub yesterday afternoon (Sat.), this morning, and again this afternoon. The cub’s weight has jumped to almost 190 grams, you all!! That’s a huge milestone for him as he continues to gain weight drinking mom’s milk. The other milestone that is starting to happen in the last day or so is that the cub’s black markings are starting to come in. They are faint markings now, but those markings will get darker in the next few days. Which means that he has grown some more hair on his little body! That also means that with more hair, the cub will stay warm almost on his own pretty soon! Lun did eat a lot more today than she has since the cub was born with the exception of some snacks and water when the keepers took the cub out for checkups during this last week. The cam has not been on at all all day, and they have it back on the Mon.-Fri. schedule, 10am-5pm. BUMMER!!!!!!!

    I’ll call AZ tomorrow (Mon.) to see if they can get this cam back on the 24/7 schedule for awhile so that we all can see Lun and cub everyday and nite for awhile. If you all can, get on the AZ website and send emails to the panda keepers and request that the cam be back on 24/7. We’re missing the big milestone that the cub is making right now because the cam is shut down! ๐Ÿ™

    Well, gonna go and check on the other pandacams. Love to all the pandas!

    Chari Mercier ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

  30. Linda says:

    Happy Birthday to beautiful Bai Yun! She really is a gift to all of us. She has done so much

    for us! Hard to imagine how many generations of pandas she and Gao are contributing

    to their kind.

    Today about !:00pm ZZ put on a show like I’ve never seen a cub do! She is absolutely

    fearless! She had me holding my breath! She goes up trees like she is walking on a flat

    surface! She would get way up there and then get out on 2 branches that I should call

    twigs. Then hang on to them as they were swinging from her weight until she couldn’t

    hold on any longer and drop to the ground. Next over to jump on her Mother’s head and

    back up the tree and do the same thing over again! Finally a nap in the trees! I was

    just exhausted!! I think my heart stopped twice. I wish her Mother would talk to her

    about this. Maybe P. Wong could give it a try!

    Thanks for all the fun!


  31. Mary Ann in FTL says:

    Happy Birthday, Bai Yun!! Just read the latest update about Zoomie and it was laugh out loud cute – I’ll volunteer to be a ” Zoomie (Zhen Zhen) tushie scratcher” for as often as need be – PURELY in the interest of science, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. Liz says:

    Happy Birthday, Bai Yun! You and I share the same birthday (except I am an older 50).

    I’m eating cake and thinking of you.



    Moderator’s note: Happy Birthday to you, Liz!

  33. Bobbie Wood says:

    Bai did get her Icy Birthday treat!! I checked around 11:00AM and Bai was napping. I checked in later…not certain what time and Bai was on her hut and Zhen was wandering around on the ground. Zhen decided to ‘sneak’ up the back side of the hut….which entertained me because Bai was facing the back side of the hut. Zhen climbed up, snuggled sweetly next to her Momma and then scooted head first under Bai’s body. She reappeared rolling the Icy treat out from under Bai ๐Ÿ™‚ Bai allowed Zhen to examine the treat for a moment; then with her paw, rolled the treat away from Zhen. ๐Ÿ™‚ This only made Zhen more curious and the treat ended up with her. Bai gave up and climbed down to eat her bamboo. Zhen then tired of playing with the treat and noticed her Mom was on the ground. Zhen climbed down, and went clear over to where the visitors could see her ‘up close and personal’. And DARN it Anyway, I had to stop watching!!! This means I missed the wild and crazy ‘stunt panda’ do her leaping/falling tricks again! ๐Ÿ™

    To All: Little Dude in Atlanta is growing!!! You all can google grams to ounces and keep track of his size.

    He is putting on weight….but grams are really small and so is he. Pandas ARE little sticks of butter when they are born! He is on the way to ‘2 stick’ weight and that is GRAND NEWS ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Ina says:

    Happy Birthday Bai Yun! May you have many more happy ones!

    Love you,

    Ina from Boston

  35. Frances in NYC says:

    I totally agree with Mary Ann #31–sign me up for Miss ZZ fluffy butt scratching duty!

    I also hope someone got good pictures of Bai Yun with her apple slushies today–things go by so fast on time-lapse video.

  36. Carole says:

    Just watched Panda Tales — it was wonderful! It included Zhen Zhen’s first year including mating shots, her birth, exams, snow day, first birthday, Mei Sheng’s move to China, Wolong and the earthquake, interviews with Ron Swaisgood, her vet, keepers.

  37. Pam says:

    I was lucky enough to be in San Diego and watched the Panda Tales show last night. It looks like it will definitely be available on DVD soon. I also went and saw the bears on Saturday. Earlier on they were all sleeping. Miss Zhen in her favorite spot in the front tree. Later on in the day, after being patient, Zhen woke up, walked around a bit, reached for some tree branches to eat, sat in her hammock and made her Rhode Island fans happy. Gao Gao was also sitting to the back of his exhibit eating for a bit. Bai was posing beautifully as usual.

  38. Lainie says:

    Happy Birthday Bai !!

    Incidently, I tried desperately searching for the Special on PBS last night at 8:00, and apparently it either aired at an earlier time then 8:00, or it was not offered in my area of Los Angeles. I was pretty bummed, but figure it will either be aired again, or there will be a dvd out soon.

    Happy Birthday again Momma Bear !!!

    Moderator’s note: Panda Tales was shown only on San Diego’s KPBS station. Other PBS stations may air it in late November or December.

  39. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! Bobbie Wood and all the other pandafans, I just checked Atlanta Zoo panda page update about Lun and cubbie. This cub gained 16 1/2 grams since yesterday (Sun.) and now weighs a ” hefty” 208 grams as of 5am this morning!!! WOW!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ This little guy has really started to thrive now that he’s gone over that rough hurdle last week. The keepers are gradually taking him out less and letting Lun have alot more time with him now that his progress has been going well. Lun does take advantage of those small breaktimes when she gets to eat her boo, snacks, and drinks her water. Then when the cub comes back, she gets back to the business of being a full time mom. I also just talked with AZ and I asked the operator to send a request over to the panda keepers to please have their pandacam back on Lun and her cub 24/7 on behalf of all of us pandafans. Hope this works, you all, because I have been missing out on seeing Lun and cub since the emergency happened last week as I know alot of you have as well.

    Just checked the SDZ pandacam, and cam C5 has no Bai and ZZ! They were both off somewhere else. So, if I missed anything, they must have had their fun earlier this morning. I’ll try to catch them later on.

    Well, not much else right now. If I hear or read anything about the AZ pandacam, I’ll let you know. Moderator, will you please help us translate the wieght in grams to weight in pounds/ounces?? A lot of us don’t understand metric that well! Thanks for your help!

    Love to the pandas,

    Chari Mercier ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

    Moderator’s note: To convert grams to ounces, multiply the grams by 0.0353. So a certain panda cub weighing 208 grams would also weigh 7.34 ounces. Hope this helps!

  40. Suzanne (the other one) says:

    Moderator – thanks for the grams to ounces conversion (I was just about to go look it up) AND for going the extra mile for all of us Panda fan(atics) and making the conversion to ounces for a ‘certain panda cub’!

    I too, have been watching weights and thinking that he’s close to doubling! So, SOON, instead of a single stick of butter, we’ll have one of those boxes of butter (with 2 sticks in it).

    Phew, this has been emotional. I’m always so glad when I check and there’s a new (and positive) update.

    Many thanks to Bai and SDZ for such wonderful and HEALTHY cubs and sparing us this whole thing while still producing such precious and cute cubs!

    Thanks again, SDZ, for this blog.

    Thanks also for Bai’s birthday treat! I checked around 1 (I think) and saw a golden something on top of the hut. The sun seemed to be glowing thru it – way cool! I can only assume it was the apple slushies… pre Bai/ZZ!

  41. panda lover in PacNW says:

    If you don’t feel like getting out the calculators, you can also go to metric dash conversions dot org and click on the weight conversions on the right, then choose your parameters (grams to ounces or soon to pounds). Makes it easy for quick translations to see how certain cubs are growing.

    Hope Bai had a great day yesterday, i missed the apple slushies but i bet it was a nice treat!

  42. Celfyddydau says:

    I would love to see panda tales, do you know if it will be shown in the UK. I can’t buy the DVD as we have different systems to the US

    Moderator’s note: We don’t know. The program is the property of KPBS and they will handle its distribution.

  43. Julie from NJ says:

    Hi, Panda fans…I just checked the panda cub update page on the ZA website, and they have recently added a photo of ‘a certain panda cub’ looking very healthy! They did not indicate if the photo was taken today, but since it was just posted, I think we can assume it is very current!

    He looks great, and is nearly 1/2 pound in weight! I’ll bet tomorrow’s update will indicate that he has or is close to achieving that milestone, which will certainly give us all cause to celebrate!

    Kudos to the SDZ for allowing us to post on this blog about the newest cub born in the USA, and to the moderators who kindly gave us the formula to translate grams into ounces…soon to be pounds!

    I, too, wish the Panda Cam would focus on Lun Lun & her little boy, but I’m sure it will as soon the staff & vets feel comfortable doing so. We will just have to wait, and hope they continue to post photos of this little panda miracle…!

  44. P Wong says:

    Conversation with Gao Gao #44

    Mei Xiang and Ya Ya:

    (Rehearsing ” The Little River Flows,” a Yunnan Province folksong very loosely translated by P Wong. By the way, this was one of the songs performed by group of 4 or 5 songtresses at 2008 Olympics closing ceremony. Also note: Big Brother/Little Sister means boy/girlfriend in this context.)

    The moon rises, beaming luminescent and bright.

    So I think of Big Brother in the deep deep woods.

    He is like the moon traversing the sky.

    Oh! My wonderful Big Brother! My wonderful Big Brother!

    At the foot of the mountain,

    The little river flows waters crystal clear.

    The moon rises, shining on the mountain slope.

    So I think of Big Brother when I see the moon up high.

    Then a little breeze blows up the slope.

    Oh! My wonderful Big Brother! My wonderful Big Brother!

    Could you not hear

    Your Little Sister calling ” My wonderful Big Brother” ?

    Oh! My wonderful Big Brother!

    Gao Gao: Wow! Don’t they sound great?

    Tourist: Yes, splendid.

    G: And look!

    T: Huh? I can’t believe it. Tai Shan diving off the Pandalympic Torch?

    G: Yup. Look how smooth he glides.

    T: Then Zhen Zhen after him?

    G: There she goes..

    T: My, how she sails! Nice red streamers. Now don’t tell me…

    G: Yeah, synchronized dives.

    T: You must be kidding! All of Hua Mei’s progeny? All at once?

    G: They pledged solidarity.

    Lun Lun’s Cubbie #2: Squawk! Squawk! Squawk! [me, too!] (rehearses ” Blue Moon” by Rodgers and Hart)

    Blue moon,

    You saw me standing alone

    Without a dream in my heart,

    Without a love of my own.

    Blue moon,

    You know just what I was there for.

    You heard me saying a prayer for

    Someone I really could care for.

    And then there suddenly appeared before me

    The only one my arms will hold.

    I heard somebody whisper please adore me

    And when I looked to the moon it turned to gold.

    Blue moon,

    Now I’m no longer alone

    Without a dream in my heart,

    Without a love of my own…

  45. Pam T. says:

    Yes as Julie #43 said there is a cute little picture this afternoon of our newest little fellow. He looks like a adorable little bear all pink with some fur. I have went to the dailypanda site and there has been some great pictures of SDZ bears. Even Bai and her birthday treat and some old photos of Su Lin, Mei Sheng and Hua Mei with Bai when they were cubs oh so cute.

  46. Mary from SF says:

    It was so fun to see Bai on her birthday–SUCH a big, beautiful bear! She really is the Grande Dame of U.S. panda moms!!

    And, sorry I just can’t help myself, Squee! at the new ZA photo of ” a certain baby boy” –he looks great! Not chubby, exactly, but certainly full and furry ๐Ÿ™‚

    I third (or fourth or fifth) the Big Thank You to the patient mods at SDZ who let us have this place to share our thoughts!

  47. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! Got on the SDZ pandacam a little while ago, and I saw ZZ on a nice sized tree branch just sitting and relaxing. She looked so pretty while she sat there just looking around. Then, the cam switched to eating machine Gao munching on his boo.

    Got back on the AZ website panda page to see if there were any more updates today. There was only the one update from this morning, but they have added a very nice picture of Lun’s cub. He’s still pink but has alot more hair on him than when he was born. Still can’t see the black markings very well yet, but the cub is about 2 weeks old, so this is the time when he will have his black markings coming in. He also has a very full tummy! Looking good, you all!

    Thanks to you, moderator, for letting us know how to convert grams to ounces/pounds. I’m gonna go back to the cub’s chart and do some math work to see how much weight he’s gained in ounces.

    Well, gonna go. Will write back in sometime tomorrow. Hopefully, I will find out if AZ will have their pandacam back on Lun and her cub. Will let you all know!

    Love to pandas,

    Chari Mercier ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

  48. marcia519 says:

    I am enchanted by the photo of the cubbie! He is just adorable. I want to hold him and cuddle him!!

    P Wong….you’ve done it again. I LOVE IT!!!! I can just see the red streamers on ZZ’s hat as she flies through the air! And Blue Moon is one of my favorite old old songs, too! You never fail to brighten my day!

    If you don’t mind my asking, P Wong….are you in China?

  49. Grace says:

    I was wondering if the zoo photographer has captured Bai Yun relishing her birthday treat! It would be lovely if some photos of Bai Yun get posted! ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. Frances in NYC says:

    Thanks, P Wong #44.

  51. Susan (UK) says:

    #42 Celfyddydan (phew!) – you must be in Wales? If you have a DVD player that is multi-regional you can play DVD’s from anywhere. I bought a Shamu DVD at Seaworld which will play on ours. I’m now trying to source Panda Tales from someone who lives in LA (when it comes out, that is).

    #44 P Wong, what a beautiful song from Mei Xiang and Ya Ya. Zhen Zhen and Tai Shan diving off the olympic torch had me in stitches. Flying pandas, what next!! And Lun Lun’s cub singing Blue Moon almost had me in tears. Silly old me!

    #33 Bobbie Wood. I think Little Dude suits ‘a certain cub’ as a name. What does everyone else think?

  52. Cat says:

    P Wong, you did it again. Wonderful, especially giving us an extra understanding of what we saw at the Olympics.

  53. Cindy in East Lansing says:

    I really like the Grande Dame reference to Bai Yun. Hard to believe she’s 17 now. She certainly has a wonderful legacy…

    By the way, Mary #46 might want to rethink her ” not chubby…” statement. ZA reporting on their website today that cubbie boy now is 233.1 grams, which makes him a little over the weight of TWO buttersticks now!! There’s a nice little picture to go along with the update, too. He’s starting to get his dark coloring and ” little old man fuzz” .

  54. Julie from NJ says:

    Hi, panda fans…there is a new photo of ‘a certain panda cub’ on the ZA website , with today’s update indicating he is 233.1 grams in weight, which translates into 8.23 ozs. …over 1/2 pound! You can now distinguish the black pigment forming around his eyes, and saddle, too…just adorable; and look at the tiny nails on those paws…!

    There is certainly reason to hope that he will continue to thrive not only with Lun Lun’s excellent care, but under the watchful eye of the dedicated ZA staff…! If two good thing have come out of this traumatic start for him, one, is that the sex was determined much earlier, and, two, that Lun Lun tolerated the human intervention and did not abandon the cub because of it. This speaks volumes about the strong bond and relationships the keepers and animals establish with each other in all of our excellent zoos.

    It’s hard to remember when Zhen Zhen, Su Lin, Mei Lan & Tai Shan were this small, but having a new cub every year is a vivid reminder of how they have to fight to survive, being so tiny when they are born…! Pandaholics everywhere are fortunate to be witness to it all, and we thank all of the zoos for their Panda Cams, and allowing us into the life of our precious pandas…!

    P. Wong #44: thanks for another lovely panda conversation; you are a truly gifted writer…!

  55. Frances in NYC says:

    Grace #49–I too hope the zoo got some Bai birthday photos of our Queen Panda Mom enjoying her treats (with a little help from Zhen Zhen). In the meantime, Google ” Bai Yun birthday” to find some photos posted by some who were there.

  56. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! A couple of you beat me to it about Lun’s cub and the HUGE weight gain he had overnite! WOW!!! 233 grams=8.23 ozs.!! The AZ update for Tues., Sept. 9 also mentioned that the cub’s average weight gain since they started weighing him last week has been 16.65 grams, a little over 1/2 an ounce! Isn’t that wonderful and cool?? I love it when their plan gets together! Lun has been a very tolerant mom letting the keepers and vets disturb her to remove the cub for all of those checkups during the past week and a half. The pic that they have with today’s update shows those black markings starting to show up on the cub’s shoulders with some more hair growing in. TOOOOOOO CUTE, you all! The cub is also apparently starting to regulate his own body temp for short periods of time to allow his mom to go out to eat, drink, and go to the ” bathroom” . That’s a couple of milestones that he’s achieving right now. Then, she’s right back in the den to take care of her cub. Still no cam on them yet. I did call AZ about that, and the person that I talked to said that she will send the message to the panda keepers about the cam showing Lun and her cub. Still waiting on when they will start that up again, so keep hoping, calling, emailing!

    Today was also Yang Yang’s birthday at Atlanta Zoo! I forgot that he had a birthday in September! He’s a sprightly 11 years old! Now, I think that takes care of all of the panda birthdays until Gao Gao’s special birthday day later on! Hope he gets a nice big slushie for him to munch on for a loooooong time! He’ll love that!

    P Wong, I just love all of the Panda Olympics stories that you have written lately, including the one you wrote yesterday 9/8. You are just too good at this! Keep them coming!

    Well, gotta go and get ready for an appointment. Will write back later on!

    Chari Mercier ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

  57. Linda A. says:

    I know I’m late to the game but HAPPY BIRTHDAY MS. BAI. You are, in deed, the” Queen Panda Mom.” Can’t wait to see some pics of your birthday party.

    And you go , Chubbie Cubbie. Lun must be one the Princess Panda Moms. Go job to you, Ms. Lun. And thank you AZ for such wonderful care.

    P Wong, I look forward to your postings. And you got me today with this last one. Thank you!

  58. pandafan says:

    Hello panda lovers,

    If you want to see lovely photos of Mei Lan’s 2nd birthday bash, go to ajc(dot)com and search for ‘mei lan’. There are two articles about her birthday and a link to a great slide show with photos of the Atlanta beauty and the crowd enjoying her birthday bash. The last photo is especially lovely.

    I am so encouraged by the news about Mei Lan’s baby brother. The pictures are lovely and the one posted with today’s update shows that the black markings are starting to appear. Looking more and more hopeful by the day. Yes, along with all of you, I keep hoping that we will soon get a glimpse of Lun and the cub again. Special thanks to our ‘panda cam ambassador’ Cheri who’s so willing to get on her phone and dial up to see when we will be able to see the new addition.

    I have not been able to catch ZZ and Bai on any of the recent play sessions, but I keep trying. Happy panda day, everyone!!

  59. Pam T. says:

    Hi all I was just on the AZ website and there was a message that today is the new dad’s Birthday. Yang Yang is 11 years old today so I sent him a Happy Birthday wish.

    I was also looking at this site and as always Mr. Gao Gao was in a big pile of boo having a good time what a guy.

  60. Dianne in Texas says:

    #54 Julie in NJ: You are a very wise lady. Yes, indeed, we are all VERY fortunate to be to watch these wonderful, precious pandas, from birth, through birthdays, and day to day living. And thanks for the link for the pics. I just realized that my daily, retired life would be boring, without these beautiful, black and white beings. And thank all of you who come to this site, letting us see as you see. PWong, you are a genius. And with the dedication of all zoo panda keepers, veterinarians, etc., the preservation of this species will be continued. Is there any word from Wolong or Chengdu about the survival, after the quake, of any of the wild giant pandas? I’m sure there have been some news releases about this, but I have not seen them.

  61. Christine in UK says:

    I have just thoroughly enjoyed watching on Animal Planet on sky in the UK. PANDAMONIUM about a year at Wolong Panda Centre in China.

    They showed us Hua Mei and one of her male cubs from 2007, it was so lovely to watch, so much so that i then watched it again on Animal Planet +1.

    To think that now it looks so totally different after the earthquake from earlier this year. We were able to watch Mao Mao give birth, Mao Mao was the beautiful panda who got crushed to death during the earthguake. The devotion of the staff there is obvious for all to see.

  62. P Wong says:

    #48, marcia519 – I’m in northern New Jersey.

    To those who expressed thanks for the Conversations, you’re very welcome.

    To SDZ folks, I thank you for such great care of the pandas and giving us so much informative insight into their world. I also thank you for your patience in giving us platform to express our thoughts and feelings about the pandas and letting us join in the fun.

    Moderator’s note: It’s our pleasure!

  63. Bobbie Wood says:

    To Susan UK # 51: I loved calling my four male Grandchildren, ‘Little Dudes’ when they were small. Thus, the nickname ๐Ÿ™‚ It just came naturally! What I’d love to hear is the translation for ‘Bright Future’ and ‘Bright Star’ and also Rocky…Isn’t one of the pandas ‘the rock’? I think maybe it’s Tien Tien at NZ.

    Maybe P Wong can help us with this ๐Ÿ™‚

    To All: Hasn’t Zhen grown!!! She’s still small when near Bai, but there are moments when I think ‘which panda is this? She is so content to wander around while Bai is busy ๐Ÿ™‚ I cannot wait to get back down to the SDZ!!!!

  64. Widget says:

    P Wong..thanks for another exciting adventure in the World of Panda’s! I always look forward to seeing your name because I’m hoping there is going to be another conversation relayed to us. I understand everyone wanting to see Lun and the cub, but I for one hope they don’t put her on until the cub is really stable. Watching what happened that Monday was horrible. I’m sure they don’t want to broadcast until they are sure Lun and the cub are over the hump, so to speak. It certainly looks as if the cub is doing very well. That makes me happy just knowing Lun is well and so is the cub.

  65. panda lover in PacNW says:

    Did you fellow pandafans see that adorable Su Lin rolling around in what I take to be a pile of crushed ice Tues morning? She was so cute! It must’ve felt good and probably gave her fur a bath too! I just love that panda, she is a sweetie.

  66. AC in NYC says:

    Happy birthday Bai, you are such a adorable bear, a beautiful mom, a wonderful panda. I love you very much.

  67. Julie from NJ says:

    Dianne in Texas, #60…thank you for your generous comment; all the bloggers here are joined by their love of pandas, and each of you adds to my knowledge and understanding of these delightful animals. I look forward to reading what you all have to say, and there are so many familiar names, that it is great to open the blog and see who has responded to a particular topic, or to the thoughts of those who share our passion for pandas!

    By the way, the latest update on ZA about ‘a certain panda cub’ indicates an astounding weight gain from yesterday…! The little warrior now weighs 254.5 grams…or 8.98 ounces…!

    Thanks, again, to the wonderful people at the SDZ for allowing us to chat about this little cub as he fights to live. We very much appreciate the latitude you are generously giving us on this blog, as it really helps during the emotional roller coaster we have been riding since his birth!

    Watching the antics of all our adorable pandas, young and not so young, is such a gift we have been given by all the zoos. Their birthdays and milestones should always be cause for a celebration; thank you for giving them all the love and attention they deserve…!

  68. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! Just an update that I just read from Atlanta Zoo about Lun’s cub. This little guy has pulled another surprise for us—he is now up to 254.5 grams=9 ounces!! A 21 gram increase in weight! Another WOW!!! Lun Lun finally put her cub down on the hay for the first time on her own today to go out, eat some boo and drink some water for a couple of minutes. So, it looks like things are beginning to get back to normal for Lun and her cub with the exception of the pandacam that is currently showing Mei Lan in her favorite sleeping spot–the hammock. I’m getting the feeling that we may not get to see Lun and cub on the cam for quite awhile which means that we all will be missing alot of those little milestones that this cub will be making in the next couple of weeks or so. That makes me sad because we all have had the opoortunity to watch Mei Lan in Atlanta, Tai Shan (DC), Su Lin/Hua Mei/Mei Sheng/Zhen Zhen at SDZ on the cams growing up from tiny cubs all the thru to where they are at now including all of those milestones in their first year of life. Right now, all we are getting are the updates from the AZ panda keepers, which are great to let us know what’s happening, and a few pics and videos when they can get those in with the updates. So, if there is anyone from the Atlanta area that can get in touch with AZ and really talk to them about this, go for it! All of us pandafans have been waiting all summer to see this cub born and go thru the growing process, and now since the upset last week, the pandacam has been on the other 2 pandas. Their cam is back on their regular M-F, 10am-5pm schedule right now. Oh well—- ๐Ÿ™

    Got on the SDZ pandacam and saw Miss Su Lin propped up on a large tree branch napping. She has a very pretty face. I’ll get back on the cam later on to see if I can catch little Miss ZZ doing her lively antics.

    Well, gonna go and get some shopping done. Will write back later on.

    Chari Mercier ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

  69. Marcia M from PA says:

    P Wong – thank you for the answer. So you are not too terribly far from where I am – in western PA.

    The Memphis Zoo has the loveliest congratulation note (for the new baby in Atlanta) on their website. I was wondering if anyone knew the answer as to why their female did not experience estrus this year. Do female pandas sometimes skip estrus? I just thought it was strange that she did not go into estrus at all, but then again, I know very little about panda reproductive systems. Perhaps an expert out there could enlighten me? Also…is there only a certain time of the year that estrus can occur? (Example…is it only in the springtime?) If it doesn’t happen within a certain window of time, then do they have to wait until next year? (I am full of questions today! But one can never know enough about pandas, can one?)

    Also….for what it’s worth, I think LeLe, the male panda at Memphis, has the cutest face! Of course, all pandas have cute faces, but his expression just strikes me as uncommonly cute.

    The Giant Panda Team’s Ron Swaisgood responds: Most pandas experience estrus in the spring, once each year. On rare occasions, females will go into estrus in the fall. The Memphis female panda is puzzling. It is unusual for young, healthy pandas to skip a year, unless they are caring for a cub or recently weaned a cub. The Memphis female is well cared for, so I can think of no reason for her to skip estrus. Memphis staff have asked me the same question, but we are all stumped.

  70. Sara says:

    No wonder Wolong sent Gao Gao to the USA. He is an eating machine. There probably wasn’t enough bamboo in China to feed him. Mei Lan seems to share his love of food as well. They are both bottomless pits.

  71. Marti in OR says:

    Bobbie Wood #63– It was the great and beloved Shi Shi, father of Hua Mei, who was Rock

  72. Rene in the Netherlands says:

    Great to hear that our beloved miss Zhen Zhen finally became the star in her own television show. It’s a pity though we won’t be able to see it in the Netherlands for quite a while, I guess. Great to read post#61 by Christine, were she mentioned Pandamodium. After checking the internet, I found out it will be on Animal Planet in the Netherlands, next sunday. The’ll be showing an episode about Mao Mao giving birth to one of her cubs and later on there will be an episode about the moving of Mei Sheng. Glad to know there’s more ” PandaTV” to come. I’ll be waiting for ” Pandatales” .

    Good luck to all of you, particulary to everyone taking care of our black and white friends.

    Kind regard,


  73. Chari Mercier says:

    Marcia M., PA; I have been wondering about Ya Ya at Memphis Zoo myself thru the spring and summer. I haven’t checked the MZ website panda page lately, but the last update back in early August told us that Ya has not gone into estrus yet! So, I have the same quaestions as you do about why some female pandas do not go into estrus at all for one solid year, the reasons for this type of miss, and how often this does occur in both wild and captive pandas. This is just another one of those crazy clues about female pandas that will explain why they are so slow reproducing and having cubs, and the reason why they are so estremely endangered in the wild. Hopefully, there is someone that knows something about this and can write us a commentary as to the possible reasons why some female pandas totally skip an estrus season for a whole year. It looks like Ya Ya in Memphis maybe one of those female pandas that is doing that this year. Ya did get pregnant last summer, but suffered a miscarriage just a week or so after the keepers and vets confirmed her pregnancy. That was a huge blow to everyone at MZ that were looking forward to having a baby panda around. Ya Ya is still a fairly young panda at 10 years old, so she still has a good number of years left to hopefully have a cub next year. Hope this helps you out, Marcia! Hopefully, Ya Ya will surprise us in the coming months. The panda keepers at MZ have said that Ya Ya is one of the more unpredictable pandas when it comes to estrus seasons. Apparently, Ya has been known to come into estrus during the spring, summer, fall, and winter! That makes it so difficult for them to get a handle on when Ya will go into estrus each year. I do check their panda page every so often to read any news about Ya Ya and Le Le. One of these days, we’ll get the news that all of us are waiting for from MZ!

    Gonna go for now!

    Chari Mercier ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

  74. barbara says:

    P.Wong, knew you had to be a Jersey Boy. I have been watching our t.v. section so I don’t miss it. Great to see our little one gaining weight. I got a chance to watch a little cam today and catch a glimps of the girls. Zhen looks so big

  75. Lynn says:

    Marcia #63 From NZ website: Tian Tian (t-YEN t-YEN), the male, was born on August 27, 1997. His name means ” more and more.”

  76. Christine in UK says:

    #72 Rene you have made my day that they will be showing Mei Sheng in a future episode of Mandamonium. WOW i can’t wait lol.

    I will make sure i don’t miss it now as i have put it in the planner so it will remind me when it is due to start.

  77. Widget says:

    Call me crazy, but I don’t think we should bother AZ with calls to put the Panda Cam on Lun and the cub. They will do what they can, when it is the right time. I know we have waited for the birth of ‘a certain panda cub’ in Atlanta, making sure he is healthy should be our prime concern. I’m sure the cam will be put back on him and his mom when the time is right. I check the update’s dozens of times a day also. It was terribly upsetting to see what happened that day, and I’m sure AZ doesn’t want to traumatize another million people again. Let them do their work and Lun and the cub will do theirs. The cam will be on them in plenty of time to see more milestones from a little ‘rocket’ that really took off after scaring everyone so much. They seem to be doing fine and the cam will be on them as soon as AZ thinks its safe for all involved, I’m sure.

  78. panda lover in PacNW says:

    #77 Widget–I agree with you, us fans not calling AZ and letting them decide when the time is right to put the cam on mother and cub again… They know we all care and would love to see them when we can, and I’m sure we’ll see them on cam pretty soon, as things seem to be going fairly normally now. We’ve been pretty spoiled with all the cam access the SDZ has given us! We should be thankful for what we’ve been able to see on our computers from afar, and the health and well-being of the little one and his relationship with mom is the most important thing. They know we’re out here.

  79. Kris says:

    I agree with you, Widget (#77). As much as I am dying to see the new ZA cub (Mei Lan was the 1st cub I watched from birth), I think we just need to be patient. I am sure that ZA’s first priority is the health and safety of both Lun and the cub and although things are looking good and the cub is gaining weight, it is possible he may not be out of the woods yet. We panda fans are totally spoiled with our panda cams, video’s, photo’s, blogs and all of that but sometimes our wants and needs have to take a backseat to what is best for our precious pandas. After all, it is all about THEM not us!

  80. Margot says:

    Could there be anything sweeter than the view on pandacam right now?–Bai Yun and Zhen Zhen facing each other, napping after a nursing session in the afternoon sun.

  81. Linda A. says:

    I’m with Widget #77. I’m sure they have their hands full right now. I am as anxious as anyone to see that baby boy, but I’m sure the care givers will share him with us as soon they feel it’s in Mom and Chubby Cubbie’s best interests.

    Cams 27, 28, 29 are on Su Lin, right? Like the caption indicates?

    Moderator’s note: Yes, those are the cameras for Su Lin’s off-exhibit area.

  82. Dianne in Texas says:

    #77 Widget – Thank you for saying something I have wanted to say, regarding the ZA panda cam. Didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. The experts who care for Mom and cub know what is best, even though we are very anxious to see and hear the goings on.

    As for YaYa miscarrying last year. A vet once told me that miscarriages in animals is a clue from Mother Nature that something was not viable, thus the pregnancy ends. Same as humans, but more so. Animals are not mentally structured to know how to care for an impaired cub. Some women are not able to bear children. Maybe it is the same with giant pandas and other animals. Just Mother Nature doing her job. Someone down the road will be able to say why YaYa does not go into estrus. (But I would really like to see her with a cub!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  83. Dianne in Texas says:

    Moderators: Can anyone tell us whether any of the wild pandas survived the earthquake and landslides in China?

  84. pandafan says:

    #77 Widget – thanks for putting things in perspective about the AZ pandacam. I also think that the AZ staff definitely know that we panda lovers are anxious to have a look at that ‘certain panda cub’ and mama Lun, of course. But, as you say, they will decide when it’s time to turn the spotlight on the little guy. From time to time, I check the Atlanta Journal site (ajc(dot)com) for updates too. I remember when Mei Lan made her public debut AJC had a video of her almost every couple of days. So, in due time, I’m sure we’ll begin to enjoy the sight of the new addition in Atlanta. Right now, AJC has a great slide show of Mei Lan’s birthday celebration.

  85. Mary from SF says:

    Yes, widget #77, I completely agree. Like everyone else, I am super anxious to be able to see Lun Lun and the new cub, but I also am glad to see the ZA people spending 100% of their time and energies making sure mama and baby are given the best of care. There will be plenty of time in the coming weeks and months for us to watch this new little one and his mom.

    For now, I am just fine with the daily updates, especially as they have all been so wonderful this week. A couple of days ago, I finally brought myself to watch a video on youtube that showed what happened that awful Monday. Yipes–it was so upsetting to see ๐Ÿ™

    I am totally getting my panda fixes these days watching ZZ, Bai, et al. and Mei Lan and Yang in Atlanta ๐Ÿ™‚

  86. Maureen in Michigan says:

    As much as I would love to see ” a certain panda cub” I agree with Widget. The ZA staff will put the cam back on when they are certain the cubbie is completely out of the woods. And as we all know we’d just see Lun changing position – glimpses of a cubbie this early in life are rare. So patience all – hard as it is -just remember how lucky we are to panda cams at all.

  87. Margaret says:

    P. Wong #44 you’ve done it again. A wonderful conversation with Gao Gao and such great imagery of the multiple panda families now spread out across US and China.

    Patience one and all for ZA please. If you go back to several posts from 2006 and 2007 about a day in the life of a Zoo Atlanta panda keeper, when things were much more calm for Mei Lan’s birth and early life, you will understand that they have their hands full. Remember that they are still on 24 hour watch, and for almost a week they got very little sleep because they were doing health checks every 4 or so hours to be sure that Lun Lun’s little boy and Lun Lun were both OK. As he continues to grow, and eat well, and becomes more robust, as does Lun herself, they can start breathing a little easier, and hopefully get some much needed rest themselves. To ask them to take on the added burden of switching a camera on to a scene that they are not yet sure is stable is asking too much and intruding on their animal care decisions by those of us who are not expert enough to make those kinds of decisions. NZP announced that they would shut off their camera in the den if Mei Xiang had given birth so that there were no interruptions and possible distractions for her. The health and wellbeing of mother and cub are what is most important. As they said many times on their website, and they have done in the past, they will provide photos, videos, and live shots when the time is appropriate. Until then, be content, and very happy enjoying the many opportunities we have to see Mom, youngest cub, Dad, and big sister at SDZ. What more can one ask for than what we have right here???!

  88. AC in NYC says:

    Thanks SDZ, the panda show preview above is fasinating. Of course miss princess ZZ is the cutest thing, and the song is great.

    About AZ, I believe my worry for the little one is over. He seems to be doing fine.

  89. wolongnews says:

    The lightest panda cub(40 grams) ever born at ChengDu breeding centre is unable to survive.

  90. Dianne in Texas says:

    Very interesting chart on ZA update this morning, comparing the 2 Atlanta cubs and parents. Also, our certain little boy cub weighed in today at 286.7 grams, up from 254.5 g yesterday. He’s growing by leaps and bounds. Go little boy. Go!

    Thanks SDZ for the opportunity to chat here.

  91. Suzanne (the other one) says:

    #67 Julie – I am now torn between calling the newest American Panda ‘a certain cub’ (I think that’s terribly cute and tongue in cheek) and ‘little warrior’! That says so much about his fight to live.

    Perhaps we can lobby ZA to have the translated ‘little warrior’ in the list of name choices?

  92. Diane K says:

    #89 sad news of the 40 gr. cub but not unexpected. ๐Ÿ™

    I continue my positive thoughts and prayers every day for our little AZ cubbie. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As always, it’s so much fun to see the antics of all the pandas on cam. ๐Ÿ™‚

  93. Linda says:

    Hello Everyone

    What a sad day this is for all of us. None of us can forget 9-11. Today I was watching

    the coverage of services held for all the people we lost. I found myself checking on our

    black and white friends. They lighten our heart. They really are a gift to the world.

    Somehow they have a magic. For me they make my life much fuller and calmer. I

    wonder if they have a good effect on our blood pressure and stress.

    Thank you to all the zoos that make it possible to enjoy the pandas and all other animals.

    We simply must leave a place for these creatures for all the people who follow us.


  94. Frances in NYC says:

    Sad to hear that, wolongnews #89–that means that there are 13 cubs surviving this year so far?

    On another note–great shots today of Mr. Gao Gao (and his brown fuzzy feet) enthusiastically enjoying his ‘boo.

  95. Tony De -CleawaterFL says:

    Encouraging news from Zoo Atlanta concerning the young lad ” Bright Future” . After a bit of a scare, the lad seems to be on track to be a big strong furry PANDA! I still hope to get up to Zoo Atlanta around January. They’ll probably have those 15 minute viewing tickets again. But I think since I’m a member of Zoo Atlanta I can still get in 30 minutes before regular opening time to see the pandas.

    I’ve not heard of a female panda skipping an estrus season, so either Ya Ya at the Memphis Zoo is going to come into estrus ” fashionably Late” this year, or ” Fashionably Early” in January 2009.

    Moderator’s note: See our Giant Panda Team’s response in comment #69.

  96. Dianne in Texas says:

    Regarding Panda Tales broadcasts: I emailed the PBS station here in Central Texas (Austin). They informed me that it would be scheduled for later in the fall, and they will contact me when it gets scheduled. Apparently PBS in all other areas will also schedule for fall. It seems only appropriate for San Diego to have dibs on showing it first. After all, ZZ is their ” Favorite Daughter” . ; D

  97. KK West says:

    Happy to be back in Panda Land. The AZ cubbie was born on my hubby’s birthday, and although we were in Durango, CO, for family reasons at the time, I was fortunate to have free wireless access there and was able to follow along. I swear…true story…I shut down my laptop 10 MINUTES before the cub was born. Woke up the next morning and was disappointed to have missed it, but THRILLED that ” A Cub Is Born!” Even more thrilled now that the cub appears to be moving along, developmentally, in a positive direction!

    I’d like to thank Chari Mercer for her attempts to contact ZA for the status of the cub, and the status of the webcam on Lun Lun and Cub-Boy. Chari, I’m sure they appreciate your concern and my bet would be you’re not the only one inquiring! Everyone here has taught me a lot about Pandas and, Chari, you’re a wealth of information with such joyous enthusiasm that it’s hard not to become infected with the Panda Bug! You got me!

    I’ve not yet been able to see ZZ and Bai playing, as my workload doesn’t permit it, so that’s a little disappointing. However, I arrived at work early today and managed to see the two adult pandas at the NZ engaging in a vigorous, roly-poly, swatting play session. First time I’d seen that in two adult Pandas! Fascinating (and it looked like they were having a heck of a good time!)

    I’d like to add my thanks to the SDZ Zoo moderators for allowing this forum to be used to discuss the AZ Cub-Boy. I haven’t posted much lately, but I read here, a LOT!

    Found a neat site Pandasliveon dot com. Has links to great pics and video. Hope some of you find it as lovely as I did!

    Panda Cheers to All!


  98. P Wong says:

    Conversation with Mei Sheng #25

    Tourist: Hello, Mei Sheng.

    Mei Sheng: Hello, Mr. Tourist.

    T: So what have we here? Smells good.

    M: Oh, I’m making mooncakes.

    T: Mmmm! What kind are you making?

    M: Well, some with lotus seed paste and egg yolks.

    T: Delicious.

    M: And some with mixed nuts and Yunnan ham.

    T: With thin chewy crust!

    M: And some with thin flaky crust stuffed with meat, Suzhou style.

    T: Oh, I recently noticed some innovative ones with chocolate ganache and mango fruit…

    M: Yeah, and ones with ice cream.

    T: So which ones are these?

    M: These will contain sugar cane and sweet potatoes. Mama’s favorite.

    T: Mmmm. I see you have carrots.

    M: Yup. Su Lin’s request. Carrots and minced bamboo leaves.

    T: So you’re taking orders?

    M: Yup. Orders for Pandalympics closing ceremony celebrations.

    T: Oh, and what’s this?

    M: Oh, my mooncake costume.

    T: Huh?

    M: There’s to be Parade of the Mooncakes.

    (back in DC National Zoo)

    Tian Tian: So Mei Xiang, how does this look?

    Mei Xiang: You look like a stuffed ice cream sandwich.

    T: Well, that other one makes me look like a jelly doughnut.

    M: Try pick something else.

    T: Hey, here’s a tropical fruit hat.

    M: No, I’ll wear that. But I’ll share the snack if you like. (then they kiss)

    (back in Atlanta)

    Lun Lun’s Cubbie #2: Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! (rehearses ” Only You” by the Platters)

    Only you can make this world seem right.

    Only you can make the darkness bright.

    Only you and you alone

    Can thrill me like you do

    And fill my heart with love for only you.

    Only you can make this change in me.

    For it’s true, you are my destiny

    When you hold my hand,

    I understand the magic that you do.

    You’re my dream come true,

    My one and only you…

  99. Julie from NJ says:

    Hi, panda fans…there is an adorable photo of ‘a certain panda cub’ on the ZA’s panda cub update page, along with more information as to what the vets think might have caused the little guy to have difficulties soon after his birth.

    His condition has been upgraded, too, and you can really see his black saddle getting darker in this photo, as well as around his tiny eyes, and ears…too cute! The only thing not mentioned was his weight gain, which I’m sure we have all been anxious to read on a daily basis. Hopefully, tomorrow’s update will let us know the good news, as he certainly looks bigger than the day before!

    I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend; for those of you in Texas and states along the Gulf coast, our thoughts are with you as Hurricane Ike comes ashore.

  100. Cindy in East Lansing says:

    There’s a new update on the ZA webpage today from one of ZA’s vets, Dr. Sam. It’s great news, too. The cub is doing VERY well and has been upgraded from ” guarded” to ” good” condition. Seems Lun Lun may have had some sort of mammary infection. No wonder she didn’t want to nurse, poor girl! Anyway, both mom and cub are doing extremely well, so maybe we’ll have more video access soon.

    I’ll echo Margaret #87’s sentiments. We’re very fortunate to have access to all that we do have to feed our panda addictions. As long as little Rocky/Bright Future is thriving I’ll be content with updates, safe in the knowledge that everything’s being done to get and keep him healthy for his big debut.

    Enjoy the weekend. Enjoy the pandas.

  101. Rose N. says:

    I finally got to see something I haven’t seen in a long time รขโ‚ฌโ€œ 8:46 AM . Gao Gao up a tree! He briefly enjoyed the view and after a few minutes, he came back down to ” terra firmaรขโ‚ฌย. He looked so cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Moderator’s note: Rose, it may have been Su Lin that you saw, as the keepers did a panda rotation this morning.

  102. barbara says:

    What a great way to start my weekend , seeing big daddy on the cam as I left yesterday and seeing that gorgeous picture of our little cubbie, what a face and what a pose. I just so glad that he is gaining weight and growing into becoming a chubby little one. Thanks Chari for getting all the info from ZA. I would like to also Thank Eveyone at SDZ for letting us have our time to get our say in on a variety of subjects.

    As Julie #99 says, Please to all our Gulf states friends, stay safe and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    have a great weekend everyone

  103. Joan says:

    Great news about our Atlanta baby!! I am so delighted!!

    I don’t know about you all, but I think that Lun Lun was trying to alert her keepers of the baby’s condition through the act of putting him down and walking away. This would be so against instinct for Lun. Animals are so bright and the bond they have with their keepers should never be underestimated.

  104. Rose N. says:

    Oops, wishful thinking – too good to be true – sorry, it was Su Lin not Gao Gao. ๐Ÿ™

  105. pandafan says:

    Hello everyone. Great news about the ” bright-future-little-warrior-certain-panda-cub” in ZA. He is looking very good and yes, like some of you, I can definitely see the markings coming in on the little guy.

    Video alert: go to youtube(dot)com and search for Mei Lan Today, then sort by Date Added. The clip posted on 9/11/08 promises a ” surprise peek at the end.” I think you will want to see this. You have to watch carefully because the ” surprise peek” is very short and you might miss it. However, it is a heartwarming sight. Enjoy!!

    It seems I have seen more of Gao Gao than anyone else lately SDZ. He genuinely lives up to his reputation of being the bamboo eating machine.

  106. Marcia M from PA says:

    #98 P Wong….you are going to get me in trouble! I am sitting here at my desk at work laughing out loud at your latest conversation. The conversation between Tian Tian and Mei Xiang really got me! It just sounds like a real conversation between an old married couple. And your sweet little song from cubbie baby just melts my heart. You are one of the best things about this blog!!

    Moderator….thank you for the note to #95 Tony. It directed me back to my post that was full of questions. I hadn’t realized that one of your great team had answered me. So….thanks to you and to Ron! It seems that Memphis Zoo is right on target when they call YaYa ” one mysterious panda” .

  107. Darlene says:

    #103 Joan, I share your sentiments about Lun and her baby. I thought too that maybe she knew something was wrong, and also she knew that her keepers would step in?? who knows maybe wishful thinking, but I mean these animals are so well cared for that maybe, just maybe she knew her baby would be cared for if it was in trouble?

    Through watching the Panda Cam’s for the past couple years, reading the posts by the keepers, you are right Joan, we should never underestimate the bonds that have been formed.

    I’d like to send my thoughts and prayers out to all in Texas right now with Ike fast approaching, stay safe!!

  108. Rose N. says:

    Hi Pandafan #105 – Thanks for the ” surprise peek” video. Indeed, the ending was very short but very, very sweet.

  109. Lisa says:

    For those here in San Diego who missed the first showing of Panda Tales, the KPBS schedule says it is showing again this Sunday (9/14) at 4:30 in the afternoon! I am hoping to be able to watch it with the kiddos since the 8 p.m. time last Sunday was bedtime.

  110. Mary from SF says:

    #99 Julie–The update did say he’s gained 197 grams since being returned to Lun, so I think the math puts him at 318 or so!

    Wasn’t it great to see him looking so good? And to hear his condition has been upgraded, too! Kudos to wonderful mom Lun Lun and all the keepers and staff that do such a fantastic job at all our zoos ๐Ÿ™‚

  111. Susan (UK) says:

    #98 P Wong, yet another masterpiece! Absolutely hilarious.

    May I wish all of you living in the Gulf states good luck, and fingers crossed when Ike hits.

  112. Margaret says:

    Wow! Su Lin has sure grown. It has been a while since I saw her up close in a tree. Thanks Meerkats for a great view. At first I thought is was Gao because it looked like a full grown panda, then I thought wait a minute this panda is in a tree, and he doesn’t climb. So I took a quick look at the ear, and sure enough it was Su Lin. The legend confirmed my conclusions.

    Glad to see the ” princess” back in her up front trees. I am sure she enjoys the variety of moving around, more natural like it would be in the wild.

    Have a safe and dry weekend everyone, especially those in Texas and in the path of Ike.

  113. Mary from SF says:

    Oh! Oh! Oh!

    If you go to youtube and search for ‘Lun & her cub’ & sort by date added, there are 38 seconds of glorious Lun cuddling her baby on Friday 9/12 ๐Ÿ™‚

  114. Susan (UK) says:

    #97 KK West, thank you for the Pandas Live site. I spent ages going through all the pandas! And although, of course, I know how Gao Gao was found, what I didn’t know was how many times he kept turning up at the gates of the reserve until he was finally allowed in. He obviously knew what side his bread was buttered!! Maybe now I understand why, when asked to do things like a blood test, he is more than willing to do it – again, and again, and again…. He is a very contented and happy bear, a trait he has obviously passed on to his children. Love him to bits. And Bai, and Su Lin, and Mei Sheng, and Zhen Zhen. Saw the photo of Rocky/Bright Future; isn’t he so cute and fuzzy. He looks good.

  115. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! P Wong, another very nice conversation this time with Mei Sheng! CUTE!!

    Update on Lun and cub from AZ. Friday, 9/12 had a very good explanation about what happened to Lun and her cub the week the cub had to be in incubator ICU. Cub’s condition was upgraded from guarded to good.

    When cub was put in the incubator, he had low body temp and low blood sugar. He responded well to treatment which included the antibiotics he was given. He has been doing even better with Momma Lun. After several lab tests, vets suspected that Lun may have had mild mastitis, an infection/inflammation of the mammary glands which led to mild discomfort with Lun, and that resulted in her lack of attention to her cub. Lun was also put on antibiotics based on that suspected diagnosis, and she has done very well with the treatment.

    Since Sept. 2, the cub has gained 197 grams=7 ounces. During vet checks, the cub’s heart and respiration rates, body temp remains stable and in normal ranges. His growth rate has been outstanding! As of 9/12, the cub’s weight is close to 300 grams, roughly 10 or 11 ounces. There’s a very cute pic of the cub with this update showing off his new black markings that are starting to show up a little more. He looks so comfy with his little paws under his chin!

    Update for today, Sat., 9/13 has even more great news about the cub’s weight. He is now up to 352 grams=12 1/2 ounces! A gain of 35.5 grams!! WOW!!! Lun’s milk has really been a huge source of the cub’s huge weight gain! The cub is now 2 weeks old today, and it is also MY birthday today! I’m 56 years old, and I don’t mind sharing my age with you all! Back to the update, Lun has been seen by the keepers laying her cub down for about 5 minutes at a time to go out and eat, and she’s also allowed the cub to lay down next to her where everybody can see him. That means that he’s been able to keep his body temp stable on his own, and having more hair on his body is a great help in that department. Unfortunately, we are unable to see all of this on the AZ pandacam because the keepers have not allowed us to see Lun and her cub yet. It’s shut down for the weekend. I’m missing my baby panda cub look-sees!! I’m hoping that all of you are feeling the same way as I do!

    Got on the SDZ pandacam that was on C4, and no sign of Bai and ZZ! I’ll get back on there later on to see if I can catch them.

    Please be praying for my home state of Texas. Hurricane Ike hit Galveston at 3am this morning as a borderline cat 2/3 and caused alot of damage there as well as in Houston, Baytown, and other areas of the Texas Gulf coast. This hurricane was huge, so it affected a large area of the Gulf coast. Also, SW Louisiana was affected as well with reports of levee breaches and flooding.

    Gonna go! Will write back later on!

    Chari Mercier ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

  116. Grace says:

    Su Lin is having a grand time with her enrichment item right now! She is trying to get something from a green ball hanging by a green rope. What fun it is to watch her play!

  117. Dianne in Texas says:

    I was just enjoying the antics of Su Lin, playing tug-o-war with the enrichment item, trying to pull it down from the tree. Pandas are so much fun to watch, in their innocence; much like watching children at play when they think the adults are not watching.

    Today is Saturday, the 15th day after a monumental panda birth in Atlanta. He is still being weighed every 12 hours. ‘Chubbie Cubbie’ weighed in at 352.1 grams, and increase of 35.5 grams from YESTERDAY. Mom has started putting him down for short periods, usually less than 5 minutes. Keepers sometimes see him left uncovered when they are both sleeping. The keepers are visually confirming nursing bouts, as they can ” see and hear” him nursing. This warms my heart. We have all been very concerned about the little guy.

    SDZ, you are the best. We pandaholics rely on this space to voice our emotions and wonders about the most amazing species on the planet. To you, a huge, Texas-sized THANK YOU!

  118. Joy in KS says:

    #103 Joan – I agree, in fact that is what I told my children … see, Lun Lun is such a smart momma, she knows her keepers are watching and they will come find out what is wrong & make it all better. I have a feeling that Bai Yun would do the same thing, in the same situation. After all, these panda mommas have lived under keeper-care their entire lives, they’re used to the routine, and they obviously expect ” their people” to show up at regular intervals. We enjoy very much the opportunity to peek in on all of the zoo animals, and appreciate the keepers, vets, and other staff who take such good care of them all.

  119. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! The Sun., 9/14 update from AZ is up for everyone to read from the panda keepers. The biggest news from this update is the cub’s continuing weight gain. He is now at 384 grams=13.5 ounces!! That means that Lun is starting to become a little bit more comfy in leaving him alone only for a few minutes for her to go out of the den to eat, drink some water, and go to the ” bathroom” . She makes sure that the cub is laying on the hay and is comfy, and the cub is doing very well laying there by himself being quiet or making some little noises. Other than that, it looks like Lun’s mothering routine is going in the same direction that she had with Mei Lan when Mei was that little after 2 weeks; back to normal. Have not checked the cams at all today, but will get on them in a little awhile. Just wanted to write in about the AZ cub’s progress and let you know that AZ’s update for today is available. Hope you all have had a nice weekend. Oh, btw, San Diego State won their football game yesterday beating San Jose State! Still praying for everyone in the Texas-Louisiana hurricane zone. They are having major issues with gas supplies, electric power, flooding, and severe damage in the Galveston area. Weather is not good there today.

    Will write back later on.

    Chari Mercier ๐Ÿ™‚

    St. Pete, FL

    Moderator’s note: San Jose State defeated San Diego State 35-10. Not a good weekend for San Diego’s football fans. But we digress…

  120. Grace says:

    I am watching Zhen Zhen sleeping in the tree with her belly facing up. It is just such a rare sight! Belly up?!!! I wish I were there in person!

  121. Margaret says:

    Little Man at ZA is growing fast, and Lun Lun holding him more relaxed. That is a great sign that he is going to be OK.

    Since she was so protective of Mei Lan, I wonder how this different start to the cubs life, and the necessity of removing him twice a day to check on him will affect her willingness to let him be more independent like ZZ. The moonlight excursions of Bai and ZZ still intrigue me and don’t really show in her mothering as ZZ has grown. The only remnant is that ZZ is more independent that her siblings, but that could also be because Bai Yun is a very experienced mother and is therefore less tense about her developing cubs excursions and inquisitiveness.

    Time will tell, as we continue to monitor, and compare, the development of all 4 cubs currently in the US.

  122. barbara says:

    What a great way to start the week. got a peek of Su this morning and then checked on the D.C. family and what a sight Mei And Tian together wrestling in the yard and having a great time. Then there is our amazing little fighter, what a weight gain, I guess by the end of today or tomorrow he will be 1 pound.

  123. Kris says:

    Susan (#114) – Could you please tell me how to find the story about Gao Gao on the pandasliveon dot com website? I found the story about the SD pandas but could find anything about Gao turning up at the gates of the reserve. I would really love to read that story!

  124. Barbara in Midwest says:

    Kris, #123, on the PandasLiveon site, click on Gao Gao’s name toward the end of the section about the SDZ bears to find his story. One thing is incorrect, however. He came to the SDZ in 2003, not 1993. His story is really interesting. He’s one handsome bear.

    I didn’t know if Susan #114 would check this blog again, since there is a new posting. Susan, if you do, forgive me for butting in. And thanks for alerting us to the Pandasliveon site.

  125. Susan Kazula says:

    #124 Barbara, that’s ok, I don’t mind; however although I would love to take the credit for this great site, it was #97 KK West who let us know about it. Pandamonium again tomorrow for those of us in the UK.

  126. KK West says:


    Zoo Atlanta’s PandaCam will resume live 24/7 coverage of Lun Lun and her cub tomorrow (9.16.08) at 10 a.m.

  127. Kris says:

    Barbara (#124) and Susan (#125),

    Again, thanks to you both. I found Gao Gao’s story and loved it. Some great pictures of him there too! It is so nice to have someone to ask for help. This is a great forum. Thank you SDZ!!!

  128. Peggy says:

    You could say I had the triple pleasure last Friday of seeing Su Lin, ZZ and Bai Yun. Su Lin was tearing up the house so to speak and having a wonderful time. I swear she even looked directly at me once as she bounced around. She would climb up the tree and lean towards the bushes and fence that separate her from mom and ZZ. I swear she was just trying to get glimpse of her baby sister and mother.

    Bai was flat out on the big rock sleeping and of course our baby was up the tree asleep but still a great view. It was such a pleasure to see the family out and to get some good photos of all.

    Now Japan has twins born and I was wondering if it is because there are two that they know already that they are boy and girl. I know mom can’t nurse both so they take them out and give her one at a time right but I thought it was harder to tell the sex at birth so what’s up with that?

  129. barbara says:

    in a e-mail from Pandas Intl fellow blogger Chet Chin had the opportunity to Volunteer in Bifengxia, he was surprised at the size of the place. It is bigger then wolong. Mei Sheng and is sister Hua Mei are in pens across from each other. Thanks Chet for this bit of news. hope to hear more. Got a peek of our little fighter, what a butterball

  130. Mark from Seattle says:

    Did anyone ever figure out if the DVD for Panda Tales can be purchased from San Diego PBS Station (KBPS)? Can’t wait another month!

    Moderator’s note: You’ll have to contact KPBS directly. It will be aired again in December both locally and nationally.

  131. PC says:

    Through KPBS the DVD is available… as well as a Panda plushie and Combo of both. I don’t know what other PBS stations will offer nationally – but you can pledge over the phone for those at this time if you call the station.

  132. Stacy says:

    Panda Tales aired in the Atlanta market a couple of weeks ago… bravo! I loved seeing Zhen Zhen grow up all over again, Mei Sheng on his journey to China (I visited him at BiFengXia in Sept!) and the lovely Bai Yun and Gao Gao. Well done, SDZ and KPBS!