Panda Exhibit Renovation

Posted at 2:16 pm November 11, 2010 by Ellie Rosenbaum

The crane at work.

Tuesday, November 9, was “crane day” at the Giant Panda Research Station. No, not the feathered kind; they’re all waiting in the wings, so to speak, for our four-day Festival of Flight, November 11 to 14. Instead, it was heavy equipment day, starting in the wee hours of the morning. A large crane was moved into position in the panda canyon to do the heavy lifting for the panda exhibit renovation before the Zoo opened, and heavy lifting it was.

Gao Gao will have some new climbing structures.

By 9 a.m. new elm trees had been positioned and planted in each enclosure, some trunk material (called “zoo furniture” here) had been removed or repositioned, and new “furniture” placed. The crane was gone, but there was still a buzz of activity as arborists, gardeners, and construction workers from the Zoo’s staff all worked together to secure and stabilize the new climbing structures. There’s still much work to be done, but the bones are in, and it’s going to be very exciting for our pandas!

The new panda furniture is secured into place.

Old familiar napping spots have been transformed into way stations, leading up to new and exciting places to perch or nap. Trees have been pruned to add more light to the areas, while the young elms will provide different shady corners. The climbing structures have been expanded and conjoined so that they stretch almost across each exhibit. It will be at least another week before the bears can return, but by then between the new soil, plant material, paint, workers, and hardware, it will not only be physical enrichment for the pandas but an olfactory one as well. It’s going to be quite the treat for them and their visitors as they explore this wonderful new environment.

On behalf of the pandas and the Panda Team, I’d like to thank all of you who donated through our Wish Lish toward the rental of the crane. It is much appreciated!

Ellie Rosenbaum is a panda narrator at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Sprucing Up for the Holidays.

It may look like an earthquake struck, but Bai Yun and Yun Zi will enjoy their new amenities.

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102 Responses to “Panda Exhibit Renovation”

  1. anna says:

    hoping to visit the pandas and all the other zoo characters in february!!! keeping my fingers crossed!

  2. Karen in Edmonton AB Canada says:

    My daughter, son in law and granddaughter will be visiting the zoo this week. I know they will bring lots of great pics back to Edmonton. It is always nice to read the great blogs, they are so full of information.
    Thanks again

    Moderator’s note: We look forward to their visit!

  3. Deborah (No. Calif) says:

    Ellie: Thanks for the update! It’s nice to see pictures of what is taking place. We’re all anxious to see how it turns out and how our pandas take to it… 🙂

  4. Diane Lincoln, Ca. says:

    Wow! this is exciting. I visited the canyon in October and thought it was fun for the pandas, but now this

    will keep them entertained longer, especially when Yunzi is on his own! Hope to visit in the fall of 2011.

  5. kathy, Canada says:

    Can’t wait to see the pandas excitement at exploring their new homes!

  6. lj says:

    oh, I am so happy to have been part of this and cant wait to make another trip to see the new panda home. I would like to suggest adding a new panda cam for the classroom area to the next wish list, I for one would love to donate to that cause after trying to see through the one that is there now 🙂

    Moderator: Will you please let us know the day they will arrive in their new locations so we can all have our panda cams warmed up to share in the fun?

    Moderator’s note: They should be back to the “regular” spots on November 18.

  7. pandafan-north says:

    How exciting!! I am sure the bears will have a great time “exploring” and sniffing everything. This will be a real treat for those coming to the next panda convention in March. It was a privilege to be part of the “crane campaign”. And nice to see how it made things so much easier to manage. Thank you for the update, Ellie. Good to hear from you again.

  8. pandafan-north says:

    Ok panda fans, here are some great captures to enjoy!

    First, from Chiang Mai, Lin Ping shows us how much like her daddy she is becoming. Reckless is an appropriate word for this “big little girl.”

    Next is an adorable, sweet and tender capture of White Cloud and son (true “awww” moment)

    Followed by the panda prince exploring on his own.

    Thanks to ryoko123panda for the SDZ clips.

    Enjoy everyone!!

  9. Lynda, Lansing, Mchigan says:

    OOOH I can not WAIT for my January visit!!! I can’t wait to see the new habitats/enclosures and yunior running around.

    I am still hoping that there will also be some little polar bear baby feet when I get there in January..?? Any updates there keepers?? Or still in “stand by” mode?!

    Have a great weekend everyone!! Thanks for the uipdates!

  10. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Moderator: Do you know which exhibit Yunnie will inhabit once he is weaned?

    Moderator’s note: That’s still a few months away!

  11. Bobbie Wood says:

    I cannot wait to get down to the SDZ when the re-models are complete!!! It certainly looks as if Su Lin and Zhen Zhen put their ‘thoughts’ into the new structures! And….that new little elm tree….I think it’s going to need a barricade. 🙂 And..won’t it be a blast to watch in Gao Gao’s area when Yun Zi gets to play there? High wire acts and feet hanging coming soon 🙂 Thank you so much for showing the work in progress photos!!! What a treat awaits the pandas and the panda fans!!!

    Lucilla in the prior post: Once again…Thank You for sharing your talent!

  12. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    What fun for the Pandas! Can’t wait to see Yun Zi’s face when he sees the new space. A big thanks to all who made it happen.

  13. Annie Panda says:

    Thanks for the update, I’m so happy about the new climbing structures and “zoo furniture”! I remember donating money and a lot of people donated too! I’m sure they, the pandas will LOVE their new structures! Hopefully I can visit soon to see the enclosures!

    Peace, Love and Pandas CIAO!

    Annie Panda

  14. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Pandafan-north: Great clips. Ah Ping does play just like Daddy… with complete abandon!! She is a hoot… whereas Yunior still reminds me of the cub who would sit in the doorway of his den being the cautious little guy… Poor Bai… such a good Mom… I’m always waiting for Yunior to accidently poke her in the eye with one of his claws when he’s pawing at her face.. but I guess he knows what he’s doing.. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  15. Anne in NYC says:

    pandafan-north: Is there no end to AhPing’s talents? She sings, she dances and she’s a star on the flying trapeze! Thanks for sharing with us.

  16. Joanna in California says:

    I can’t wait to see the new panda exhibits when I visit again during the holidays! Thanks to all the staff and panda fans who made this happen. Looking forward to see Gao, Bai, and Yun Zi in their new areas next week on the cam 🙂

  17. lu says:

    Thank you #8 for those cute movies, mom and son was really nice to see. Can hardly wait to see the new

    digs on the 26th of this month. But I enjoy everything at the zoo.

    Thanks for the update on the new digs and how it is coming along.


  18. Danielle, NY says:

    The 2010 Asian Games are starting today in Guangzhou. The following article retraces the connection that a special panda, Ya Ya, has had with sport events in China during her life. blog(dot)sina(dot)com(dot)cn/s/blog_49246d360100mq37.html

    Ya Ya was born in Chengdu on August 24, 1990, the year of the 1990 Beijing Asian Games. Ya Ya’s daughter Fu Wa, born on September 6, 2003, served as prototype for the Official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Ya Ya’s daughter Jing Jing, born on August 30, 2005, gave her name to the mascot representing the panda. en(dot)beijing2008(dot)cn/spirit/beijing2008/graphic/n214068254.shtml

    In 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympic Games, Ya Ya gave birth to a son Ya Lin, born on August 24, 2008. This year, the year of the Guangzhou Asian Games, Ya Ya gave birth to her daughter Ya Yun on September 10, 2010. Ya Ya gave birth to 13 cubs in 9 litters, 12 cubs have survived. It is probably her last cub; she is after all 20 years old. It is nice to see her taking such good care her cub, so tenderly.

    Ya Yun is the seventh cub on the pictures of the Chengdu class of 2010.


    For the names of the six other cubs, see post #27 on blog:

  19. Judy says:

    Will they be working on the cams? Ever since that advertisement was added for a few days, they just haven’t been what they used to be.

    Moderator’s note: Panda Cam has a technical problem and is awaiting the parts to repair it.

  20. Kathy in CT says:

    My, my, LP (flashback ZZ)? What an act to follow! Total “improv”on her part- total gasping on my part! The head and neck through the wood/wire ladder- a multi-tasking mixmaster! High wire(d) wonder! Thanks Pandafan-North and ryoko123panda! And Yunnie- your peek-a-boo paw on mommy’s face is not as “eye appealing” as you make it look. How about a invigorating round of patty-cake- paw to paw?

  21. Amanda says:

    Can’t wait to see their new enclosure when I visit in Jan 2011!

  22. Marion (Scotland) says:

    On Nov 15th, it is a year since I visited the zoo for the second time. It is strange to think that Su Lin and ZZ are gone and the panda exhibits I saw are being renovated. Yunnie was a little fluff ball on a tv monitor and he got his name the day we flew from SD to Las Vegas. My 3 night 2 day visit to SD was very short but I can’t wait to come back again in a year or 2. In the meantime, keep up the great work with the blogs and Panda Cam.

  23. Danielle, NY says:

    As I was doing more research on Ya Ya and her mother Qing Qing, I came across some information that I suspect many of you will find interesting. Back in September, just after Ya Ya had given birth, we had a discussion about mother’s skills see
    #23 Weegee mentioned that Lin Hui was abandoned by her mother, #34 Dianna from Ohio asked if Lin Hui had a twin, I confirmed that Lin Hui had a twin brother Lin Yang but I was not sure when the Chinese started their twins swapping system, rotating the cubs in their mother’s care (see #39). Well, I came across that information and Qing Qing gave birth to Ya Ya and her twin brother on August 24, 1990 (I think his name was Jun Jun and he died at age 6), and it was the first successful attempt at helping the panda mother to raise both cubs successfully by swapping them while keeping the other cub warm and fed.
    The picture at the top of the article shows Qing Qing with her twins.
    So the twins swapping system is as old as the super mom Ya Ya, 20 years old…

    I made another discovery which would have it’s proper place on
    But I am afraid that very few people would read it if I would post it there.
    I came across a report of the birth of triplets!!
    “August 19, 1999 (1 day old): Triplets were born at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Unfortunately, the littlest one in the middle died two days later. Twins are not uncommon, but triplets are very rare.”
    To see the picture go to www2(dot)liu(dot)edu/cwis/cwp/library/exhibits/panda/panda.htm

  24. Chari Mercier says:

    Hey, you all! Just saw Gao Gao in his very favorite spot in the whole exhibit–his private room with alot of boo in it, and he’s been eating it up! The panda eating machine is at it again! GO GAO!!!!
    Read your article about the renovations! The pics look awesome, especially the large pic of one of the panda yards. Looks like there are alot of new things in there and more of it for Bai, Gao, and Yuni to look at, sniff, climb on. At least Su Lin the Redecorator is not there to redistribute the new grass and other loose things like she used to do at SDZ. But, there’s Yuni, and he could be the next Redecorator! We’ll watch and see what he does once he gets in that yard with his mom.
    Got on the AZ pandacam late today and saw Lun Lun eating some snacks and what looked like a small stalk of sugarcane. She had her cub perfectly hidden under those big upper big arms probably on her chest, so I didn’t get to see the little cutey today. Will have to wait on Monday to try to see the cub. They put in another pic of Lun and her cub with the cub’s head showing just above those big paws of hers with today’s update. That pic is very cute!
    Well, gonna go and check the cams again (not the AZ cam, tho). Will be back later! Have a good weekend!
    Chari Mercier 🙂
    St. Pete, FL

    Moderator’s note: You can now click on any blog post photo to make it larger. Give it a try!

  25. Diana S says:

    This is all so exciting! Can’t wait to see the new digs when we come down for the Panda Convention in March. Keep us posted on how well everybear likes their new climbing fortresses! And you are very welcome for “help” with the crane rental – what short work that machine made of it all. We’ll have to keep an eye out for the pandacam adventures!

  26. Margaret says:

    Thanks, Ellie, for the update on the renovations. Thanks also for the photos. It looks like a very exciting new space for the the dynamic trio. Mei Sheng would have loved all that climbing “furniture.” My observation is that Yun Zi is not as much of a high climber as his siblings. He seems to prefer his hammock and lower branches of trees, at least so far. It will be interesting to see where he goes once he is independent and free of Momma Bai’s watchful eye and powerful grip.

  27. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Danielle: Your knowledge of Panda lineage continues to amaze me… You are like a “Panda Family Tree” book… I think of you as like this professor or librarian… 🙂

  28. Weegee says:

    According to Danielle #23, here’re clips of the twin Lin Hui and Lin Yang for comparison;

  29. Kathy in CT says:

    I hope Yunnie doesn’t get the bright light idea that his kingdom gets a makeover every year. He has been seen drooping over a high limb napping at night in the past- and with his rolling tumble skills so overly developed, I shiver when I see him in that position. In the lastet snaps, Yunster looks so more yunmanly. Were the other babies so attached to Bai at this point? Many times when I see the two, I believe I am on the Comedy Central station.

  30. Peggy says:

    Wow it looks awesome. Pandas are unlike many species aren’t they? I mean so many do not like change per se in their environment. It would be stressful for some animals to come out and find the whole landscape changed but pandas seem to really like new things. To them it appears to make life so much more exciting. They aren’t afraid of the unfamiliar. I mean they have the staff that they know well and that must really help but I know many animals dislike change. I have a cat that freaked out when I had a new (but used) sofa brought in. She still won’t get on the sofa, which is fine with me as that means she won’t scratch it up as she did the last one. However I was completely taken by surprise at her fear of this new piece of furniture.

    Pandas seem to find it exciting to see something new that smells different. It is something to enjoy and claim. You guys are doing a fantastic job and in keeping the pandas happy you are making their lives so much richer.

  31. Mary from Brooklyn says:

    Just looked at the enlarged photos. They make what the staff has done come much more alive. Thanks for this enhancement. Not to mention thanks to all those who have been working on the new exhibit spaces. It’s going to be exciting watching their reactions to their new digs.

  32. P Wong says:

    Conversation with Gao Gao #86

    Tourist: Hello, Gao Gao.

    Gao Gao: Hello, Mr. Tourist.

    T: Is this another one of your smelly product lists?

    G: No, not this time. It’s a map of smells and correspondent index list.

    T: Huh?

    G: See, smell this.

    T: Mmmm. Sawdust?

    G: Yup. From that new elm climbing structure. And smell this.

    T: Some kind of strong walnut…

    G: Yup. A walnut with 3 cracks.

    T: How did you know it had 3 cracks.

    G: Well, I rubbed this on the map and it has 3 cracks.

    T: And what’s this? Smells like juicy tart cherries.

    G: Tart cherries it is.

    T: And this is like grass and a little diesel fuel.

    G: Yes, it means a forklift had been here with new sod.

    T: Oh, yeah, and a rented decorator crane had been here, too.

    G: And this?

    T: Hmmm. Kind of strong, but something like a perfume, too.

    G: Fu Long provided this scent. He says it’s a French smell.

    T: Do you know French?

    G: No, but I’m going to learn to smell French.

    (In Bai Yun’s area)

    Bai Yun: Un, deux, trois… One, two, three…

    Yun Zi: Huh?

    B: Oui, non… Yes, no…

    Y: Huh?

    B: I’m learning French.

    Y: Why French?

    B: I was told it’s the language for lovers.

    Y: What are lovers?

    B: They’re individuals that are crazy mad about each other.

    Y: So they count in French?

    B: Well, it’s a start anyhow.

    (At Bifengxia)

    Wu Jie: JET ’em! JET ’em!

    Fu Long: Huh?

    W: JET ’em!

    F: What?

    W: It’s French for “I love you,” right?

    F: Uh, I tell you what. Here’s something better. Rub this on.

    W: Mmmm. What is it? Smells pungent.

    F: It’s a new sample.

    W: From Mei Sheng’s mail order service?

    F: Yeah, it’s called Essence de Gao Gao de Paris.

  33. Dawn from MA says:

    Love the new “furniture”. Hopefully the Pandas will love it too. Glad to see the money from our donations made all this possible for our lovely furry panda friends. Blessings!

  34. pandafan-north says:

    Panda fans, this just came out – a video of the Prince Gao Yun Zi enjoying his biscuits. Enjoy!

  35. Amanda says:

    #34 Pandafan-north: Thanks for posting. He is getting more and more handsome!

  36. Frances in NYC says:

    Thanks, P Wong!

    Can’t wait to see the pandas in their new environments, though I’m having a hard time envisioning Gao Gao climbing up the tree and across the limb to the top of the cave.

    I can imagine Zhennie creating many a daredevil routine though. Hope we get some news of the girls soon.

  37. Karen V. Rome, NY says:

    Sunday Night watching Gao in his “room”. Gao is eating boo, I don’t think Gao cares where he is as long as he has is boo.

  38. Marie says:

    # 34 Thanks! That is tooooo sweet! This user has the best Zhennie videos. God I miss her! 🙁

  39. Kathy in CT says:

    #34 Pandafan-north “Mr. Yun Zi – table for 1 is ready. Our tree stump-top specials include crunchy ruby biscuits, complete with no napkin or dining utensils- optional tree limb seating. Take in the view of hundreds of hoomans- or not. Shoes and shirts not required. Bring nothing but your appetite, take nothing except that crumb you dropped.”

  40. Teresa, TN says:

    great conversation P Wong. it sure is quiet here without Grammabobbie and Lucilla! thanks for the video link pandafan, nothing cuter than a baby panda eating his biscuits!

  41. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    No. 32 – P Wong – I love the Essence du Gao Gao du Paris. Can I get a bottle? I guess l’amour is in the air as the pannas get ready for the bi-annual Spring Ball.

  42. lindaluvspandas says:

    I cannot wait to see all in their new exhibit. They are moving in on my birthday! I wish I could be there to celebrate with them. I have not seen much of any of the bears since the renovation and the cam is just not that good. It is black alot when I check. I miss my little boy! Only a few more days though. Great job SDZ for getting this done so quickly.

  43. Danielle, NY says:

    #27 Dianna from Ohio – I am a scientist, so looking for information and trying to “get it right” is coming naturally to me. I also like challenges, and looking for information about pandas is quite a challenge, a lot of the information is not readily available and there is of course a language barrier. But I have developed way of “reading” Chinese and trying to figure out things… I also have ways to keep information and build on it.

    #28 Weegee – Thanks for the links to the videos of Lin Hui and her twin brother Lin Yang. Looking at the video of Lin Hui made me think that if Lin Hui hears people making remarks about Lin Ping dancing talent, she could tell them that she got that from her!!! But Lin Ping could learn some new moves from her mom before it is too late.

  44. Anne in NYC says:

    Just love the way the bears clsoe their eyes when they are enjoying their food! Mama must have been distracted so he could take his time to savor his treats.

  45. Barbara in Midwest says:

    Wow! You have “high expectations” — pun intended — for Gao Gao. For this laid back bear that doesn’t get off the ground often, it would be nice to see him exploring the lofty places. Something to look forward to, not only for the pandas, but for us! Change is nice!

  46. Linda / NorCal says:

    I am so excited to actually see a panda on the cam for more than a split second! While we were gone, I saw a panda walk off just as the cam came up, so this morning is a treat for me. Often when I checked the cam (because of the time difference), it was already dark in San Diego so I saw nothing. Hurray for me this morning!

  47. Danielle, NY says:

    Don’t miss the latest video of Wee Lan posted by DoxieMom

    When Lun Lun returned, that is when the difference in size is striking. Wee Lan is starting to develop the characteristic black markings.

  48. Dianna from Ohio says:

    P Wong: That was a pretty good story… 🙂

    I was watching a little bit of Ah Ping this weekend. My favorite part was when a Keeper (I think a new keeper for LP?) was trying to get her to follow him through the tunnel. This is the tunnel where the keepers have to be bent over. I am not kidding when I say that he tried 4-5 times to get her to follow him. She would go so far, and then whip around and head back to the stairs. She would go as far as the stairs, then turn around and act like she would follow him.. this time… but no… there she goes again and Keeper was right behind her. Ah Ping was having a great time of “chase me”… the poor Keeper even got a ball to entice her all the way out of the tunnel… I don’t know if he ever did get her to go where he wanted her…. Poor Keeper… his back had to have been hurting the rest of the day!!! 🙂 Another time, Ah Ping was doing somersaults off her bed while Ah Hui was trying to eat… One time Ah Hui pushed her off the bed!! 🙂

  49. PandaLover says:

    Will Yun Zi still have his hammock once renovations are complete?

  50. Lee in Vancouver says:

    Thanks Ellie for the update on the renovations. It was so nice of you to thank us for the crane rental but remember, if the SDZ hadn’t listened to us about breaking the total down into more manageable amounts, it would still be on the wishlist. Everyone helping everyone else gets things done.

    Thanks also for the new option to make the blog photos larger too. It really helps.

    Moderator’s note: Panda fans are amazing folks! And we’re glad your are enjoying the larger photo format, started a few weeks ago.

  51. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Rita Petita has some great pictures from this weekend posted of Yunior and Bai… here is the link (I think) http://www(dot)flickr(dot)com/photos/ritapetita/ (Where is Grammmie when you need her!!) 🙂

  52. Danielle, NY says:

    The Japanese Pambassador Yumiko is still in Chengdu, and today she posted, among others, a picture of Mei Lan.

  53. Kris says:

    That sure looks like Mr. Gao Gao on cam 27. Is the list up-to-date?

    Moderator’s note: I beliieve so.

  54. Bobbie Wood says:

    P Wong #32: Perfect (as usual) 🙂 Now I really cannot wait for the exhibits to open! The Pandas are going to be very busy playing detective!

    Danielle # 52: The photo of Mei Lan is GREAT! Thanks for the link!

    To all: If you haven’t ‘bookmarked’ Rita Petita’s photo flikr site and DoxiMom’s as well, just do it 🙂 Every morning they have something new….great way to start a happy day! 🙂

  55. Danielle, NY says:

    As I was checking older posts from the Japanese Pambassador Yumiko, I noticed that she had posted two more pictures of Mei Lan and also some speculation… She wrote: by the way Xiong Bang (Japanese name: Yu Hin) or Long Bang (Japanese name: Ryu Hin) might be her future husband… I don’t want to disappoint her, but Mei Mei, the mother of these two Japanese pandas, and Lun Lun are half sisters, their father is Lin Nan. But that would make for some world wide famous cubs!!!

    In that post she has also pictures of Ying Ying, not sure why she calls him IngIng, but Ying Ying is the panda that fell off a tree on September 16 and was in a coma for 54 hours. His twin sister is Ni Ni. It is nice to see that he seems to have recovered; his hair has grown back on his ears. It would be interesting to know if the fact that he is always crying with a cute voice is something new, since he was in a coma, or if he always was like that.

  56. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    ‘Papa, I am here. You called?’ asked Yun Zi as he trotted up to his Papa.

    ‘Yes, son. I felt that we could spend some time together,’ explained the Gaoster.

    ‘YAY! What shall we do?’ said the young cubbie with glee.

    ‘Well, I thought with the new trees in my enclosure, we could climb some together.’

    ‘WOWIE, cool! Lets go,’ and he dashes to a tree and starts to climb.

    ‘Wait son, Papa has to warm up first. Stretch the muscles. Otherwise one may get a cramp or hurt one’s muscles. Come down and let Papa show you.’

    Yun Zi goes and stands next to Papa. Papa Gao showed his son how to do leg strectes.

    ‘Pretend there is a nice piece of boo there, so stretch the feetsie to reach it. Stretch and reach, stretch and reach. Now repeat with other feetsie.’

    ‘Hey, this is fun, Papa.’

    ‘Now, we stretch to reach a piece of boo place above our heads, stretch stretch stretch! Feel the muscles work, hee hee.’

    ‘Papa, we can also exercise by pretending we have some visitors and we wave to them this way,’ says Yun Zi as he demonstrates his sideway arm movements.

    ‘That’s good, boy. You are quite creative.’

    ‘And Papa, there is this move I learnt from Mama. It is called the ‘Push the Cubby Away’ and she says it helps slim down her thighs.’

    ‘Hee Hee, your mama is a funny lady.’

    ‘Hee Hee, yesterday, she grabbed my feetsie and would not let go. She said my feetsie was in a bear trap and she had to rescue me.’

    ‘Love that woman, she has a great sense of humour.’

    ‘Papa, can we climb now?’

    ‘OK, son, you go first and I will observe you to see if your technique is correct.’

    ‘Tree! Ready or not, tree, here I come!’ and with that Yun ZI grabbed the sides of the tree with his claws and started climbing.

    ‘Good, son. Keep the focus. Look up. Stretch and reach. That’s good.’

    ‘Papa, I can see way over into the next enclosure. HI MAMA!’

    ‘OK, let’s see if you can come down head first.’

    ‘Wheee, I like that move. Here I come!’

    Before long, Master Gao was back on the ground next to his Papa. His Papa hugs him.

    ‘You did well. You will soon be shimming up and down the trees like jie jie ZZ.’

    ‘What shall we do next?’

    ‘Aaaaah! Papa has been wanting to have a father son talk with you.’

    ‘Oh boy, is it about the birds and bees? Xi Lan tells me it is an eye opener. Hee Hee. Goodie!’ Yun Zi is jumping up and down with excitement.

    ‘Boy, Papa wants to teach you something more important. From my vast experience, Papa wants to teach you how to choose good boo even with your eyes closed. How to sniff and know which piece to pick first. Birds and bees, hee hee, it comes naturally. Papa’s genes are in you, you will know how to dance when the time comes.’

    ‘Cool, choosing bamboo? Teach me, Papa.’

    ‘OK, sit here next to me. Let Papa show you. See this piece of boo, you hold it this way, feel it in your paw, feel its texture, each piece of boo speaks to you, learn to listen and then you will appreciate its taste in your mouth… slowly take a bite, savour it……’

    And thus the father and son spent a day together while Bai went shopping with the other Panda Mamas.

  57. Deborah (No. Calif) says:

    Moderator: With reference to the Pandacams, here’s what it shows on the main page:
    * 1–3: Su Lin
    * 4–7: Bai Yun and Yun Zi
    * 23, 24, 31: Gao Gao
    * 27–29: Zhen Zhen
    I think it was updated and then went back to the old information somewhere along the way…

    Moderator’s note: Hmmm. On my computer it shows the following:
    * 23 and 24: Gao Gao
    * 27–29: Bai Yun and Yun Zi
    * 30 and 32: Gao Gao

  58. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! Been on the SDZ pandacam a couple of times in the last 30 minutes, and Yuni was eating his boo up in the tree limbs to make sure that his mommy dearest doesn’t get any. Then, a few minutes later, he was done and sound asleep on that tree limb. Just saw Bai eating her boo because I saw some boo moving around in the back of the yard, and that was where she is sitting right now just eating away.

    Some news from Atlanta Zoo about Lun Lun’s cub. In a word–GREAT!! I got all of this info from their last 3 updates–Nov. 13-15. Lun Lun has been leaving her cub at fairly regular intervals over the last few days, and keepers have been monitoring her leaving and how her cub has been reacting to this. The cub has been very quiet when Lun leaves to go eat lately, so the vets and keepers took some time to get the cub to do a health checkup based on the time frames that Lun was out of the den eating her biscuits, sugacane, and boo. The cub is in excellent health. Weighs 297 grams=.5 pound, chest girth is 17 cm=7 inches, head is 4.5cm=1.5 inches, tail is 5cm=2 inches, no total body length measurement yet. The cub’s gender will be announced late next week. Also, the cub’s black colors are starting to get darker on his front end, and is just starting to show on his back legs. Lun has been getting back to her normal eating habits with her biscuits and sugarcane, but will cut short eating the boo when her cub starts to squeal for his momma! She’s also getting regular drinks of water. This is so important so that she can continue to provide the milk for her cub to drink every day and nite. Lun is doing a great job taking care of her baby panda!

    Have been checking the panda page on the National Zoo website every so often for any news about Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. Now that November is here, there are only a few more weeks of the current 10 year lease that NZ has with China on Mei and Tian. We should be getting some news from NZ pretty soon about the 2 pandas’ status with NZ and China. Hope it’s good news that they will stay in DC, but if not, we all know that NZ panda keepers will be working hard to bring in a new pair of pandas to DC soon. Will keep checking the website’s panda page for any news. BTW, the lion cubs at NZ are growing!! Naba’s 3 cub’s passed their swimming test last week, so now all 7 cubs will be able to go out on exhibit with their moms sometime in the next few weeks. Naba’s 3 cubs are 8 weeks old, Shera’s 4 cub’s are 11 weeks old. They are weighing between 20 and 30 pounds by now. Check out the NZ lion cub cam to watch these lion cubs!

    Gonna go and check out some cams. Will be back later!

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  59. Jeslyn in San diego says:

    #34 thanks for showing that good video of Yun Zi eating. I can now see how they have no thumbs but a notch in the wrist to hold the food. Best view yet of it.

  60. Weegee says:

    Dianna, Ohio – The keeper you watched playing chase with Ah Ping was Keeper Tom. He tried to walk her to the new enclosure, but the girl decided to play just a little more…… 🙂

  61. P Wong says:

    Conversation with Gao Gao #87

    Tourist: Hello, Gao Gao.

    Gao Gao: Hello, Mr. Tourist.

    T: What is this? A distiller?

    G: Ah, it’s my new enterprise…

    T: Don’t you need an alcohol license for this?

    G: No, no, no. It’s not that.

    T: But smells pretty good, though.

    G: It’s my L’Air du Printemps Gao Gao limited edition.

    T: Oh, right… Your perfume offering for spring.

    G: And I keep my other enterprise here.

    T: In that cave?

    G: Here, check this out… Le Fromage Anciens de Gao Gao premium…

    T: Eew! Ga-a-a-ag. (abruptly exits)

    G: Oops. Wrong brand of cheese.

    (In Bai Yun’s area)

    Yun Zi: Mama, where did you get that cheese?

    Bai Yun: It’s a gift from Sir Gao Gao, dear.

    Y: May I rub on it?

    B: After you count to 100.

    Y: One hundred?

    B: WHOOSH! (She disappears with the smelly cheese)

    Y: No fair!

    (At Bifengxia)

    Wu Jie: Wow wee. We finally got our permit.

    Fu Long: Yeah, a fondue party permit.

    F: Did you get the pools cleaned out?

    Wu Jun: Yep. And we’ll get some good sun today.

    F: Yeah, nothing like a gooey fondue.

    W&W: Yup.

    F: We have enough cheese?

    Wu Jun: Mei Sheng will see to it.

    Wu Jie: I want the moldy green one.

    Wu Jun: I like the one with brown veins.

    F: I’ll mix in the Limburger and gjetost. Oh, here comes Tai Shan.

    Wu Jie: You’re wearing the cheese already?

    T: Couldn’t wait.


    F: Don’t all jump in at once.

  62. pandafan-north says:

    Pandafans, you will love this. 10+ minutes of play between Bai and Yunior – it is clear and so entertaining, shown in real time, and so very sweet! This really captures Bai’s experience as a mom; she just knows what to do with that Prince of a cub. She even does a sort of somersault. Watch this in full screen mode – the colors are so rich. Also keep your ear open to a child giving some commentary – it’s very cute. This is a keeper. Enjoy!!

  63. Weegee says:

    Here’s a clip of what Danna from Ohio mentioned about Ah Ping playing chase with keeper Tom. It starts from 5.40 of the clip, please enjoy…. 🙂

  64. Annie Panda says:

    I just woke up and I had a dream that I held a little baby panda in my arms and the panda was so adorable, too bad it was a dream!

  65. Pamda says:

    #63 Weegee – Thank you for the clip of LinPing playing chase. We all know she is a Princess and I’m sure she loves playing with the keepers. She lets them think they are in-charge, but I think we know who is really running the show there.

  66. Dianna from Ohio says:

    #63 Weegee: Thanks for the link… I didn’t see the very last part where 2 keepers tackled her to get her where they wanted her!! I don’t think she was very happy with them at the end!!! 🙂

    How much does she weigh now? Was the vet talking about Miss Ah Ping?

  67. Deborah (No. Calif) says:

    Moderator: Today the main page shows what your computer is showing (correct Pandacam views) — don’t know why mine was showing old info yesterday and for several days actually. But I’m glad it’s right now. Thanks! 🙂

    Moderator’s note: Computers: Can’t live with ’em, can’t live w/out ’em!

  68. Danielle, NY says:

    #62 pandafan-north – Thanks very much for posting the link to this beautiful video of Bai Yun and Yun Zi. It is an unusual format but it works very will in full screen format. People can say what they want, but Bai Yun is very patient, at least on this video, with her very tenacious cub!!

  69. Danielle, NY says:

    I had a good laugh reading today’s update on the Atlanta Zoo website, below the pandacam. It seems many people, even panda keepers, would appreciate a Pandanese 101 course!!! Lun Lun’s vocalization last night was puzzling to her keeper Joseph…

  70. Deborah (No. Calif) says:

    Moderator/Panda Team: Is Thursday (the 18th) still looking like the day the pandas will be returned to their newly updated enclosures? Or is it looking as if it may be a later date? (Can you tell we are anxiously awaiting the day???) 🙂

    Moderator’s note: The pandas will move back into the main viewing area on Friday, November 19, at 8 a.m.

  71. Amanda says:

    #63 Weegee: That was so fun to watch. I happened to be watching the cam that evening (morning) when this happened. I couldn’t stop laughing! LP is so smart! She always gives her keepers a good workout! Also, where have HK & CK been? I have not seen them working with the Pandas for a 2nd week.

  72. Bobbie Wood says:

    Lucilla # 56: The lesson…how to choose Bamboo…only Gao Gao could teach best 🙂 You made me laugh out loud 🙂

    P Wong # 61: And….only Bai could sneak off with the Cheese 🙂 Laughed aloud again 🙂

  73. Maureen in Staowood, Mi says:

    Today I saw ZA’s “Wee Lun” alone as mommy had it left a minute or two to eat. I sure looks healthy even though it only weighed 297 grams (10.16 ounces) – now we wait for the announcement of the sex – I’m betting of a boy 🙂 🙂

  74. Frances in NYC says:

    Thanks to pandafan-north and Weegee for directing us to those videos. It’s especially nice to see the ones of Bai and Yunnie closeup since the classroom cameras are not so clear.

    And thanks to Lucilla and P Wong–Gao Gao is certainly a busy bear these days!

  75. Kathy in CT says:

    #63 Weegee For being solitary animals, Ah Ping is not taking any chances with that! How downright comical- instigating quite an “action/reaction” to the point of exhaustion on the keepers’ part- right into the cage.

  76. Fonsia says:

    Maureen #73—-I’m also betting that Wee Lun is a boy. If they’re announcing it this soon, it almost has to be.

    I think that often it’s difficult to tell—-they didn’t know ZZ was a girl for a long time. But remember when we were sure we saw “boy parts” when Yunior was still a teensy baby? The vet took one glance at Yunior on his first exam and immediately prounounced him a boy.

    Yup. Baby boy. Betcha!

  77. Weegee says:

    Pamda – You’re right LP is a big boss around here… HaHa

    Dianna from Ohio – From the clip I posted, Dr. Goi said that it’s typical for pandas at this age to be playful. If LP’re in China, she would have other young pandas to play with. But here at CMZ, the keepers are her friends.

    LP’s latest weight is 60.3kg (132.93lb). According to her last record, LP lose several grams of weight (perhaps from all those running back and fought in the tunnel….I guess :)….haha)

    Amanda – HK and CK are in Fuzhou for the Annual Conference on Giant Panda Breeding Techniques, and will be in Bifengxia on Friday, 19 November, to attend a special celebration for all overseas-returned giant pandas.

    Kathy in CT – AT the end LP said to her keepers that you hoomans’re not playing fair and square, it supposed to be one on one game…. 🙂

    Danielle, I had a smile reading that too last night. I’m sure that Mr. keeper Joseph T. Svoke is still puzzled about if LL’s mad at him or not…..:)

  78. Marie says:

    Weegee, thanks for the link to that LP video. She’s such a cutie and so onery. I 2nd what Amanda asked, where is CK? I miss seeing him interact with LP. They seem to have a great bond. Plus, he’s a cutie! 😉

    #62 pandafan-north: Thanks for the link. Yun Zi makes me laugh when he climbs butt first onto his mother’s head. Bai definitely has patience and I guess after 5 cubbies, she has learned what to tolerate and when she’s had enough. I’m waiting for the day when she pulls a Lun Lun and sends him flying over her head with one paw. That video always cracks me up. Do not bother mommie monster when she is with boo.

  79. Gail Hundley says:

    I just love the new look and hope we will see it soon on your web cam. Although we cannot visit at this time, we enjoy watching from a distance…out here in Texas!!

  80. Anne in NYC says:

    Weegee, thanks so much for the clip of Ah Ping. She has such a funny trot! But it seems that she’s getting too big to be dragged around. And it might not be such a good idea to be teaching her martial arts. You never know when she’ll use it!

  81. Amanda says:

    #77 Weegee – Thanks for the update on CK & HK. I was visiting another Thailand Panda site and saw a picture of them with Chet, who is here on this blog from time to time. I figured they were away as the date on the photo showed Nov 2010.

    I’m getting excitied about seeing the SDZ Pandas in their renovated home! It is this Friday…right? 🙂

    Moderator’s note: Correct!

  82. Danielle, NY says:

    Great news!! There have been several sightings of wild pandas recently, thanks to infrared-triggered cameras. A sub-adult panda’s image was captured on October 25 on an infrared-triggered camera installed in the Yele Nature Reserve in Mianning County, Sichuan Province.


    From what I read, Yele is a fairly recent Nature Reserve, established in 1993, and infrared cameras were installed by WWF in 2008. It is very good news to see a sub-adult panda in a fairly new reserve.

    Another wild panda was observed by an infrared-triggered camera on October 28 in a Nature Reserve near Chengdu, Sichuan province, at an elevation 2,800 meters (9,200 feet) where snow can also be seen on the ground.


  83. Marie says:

    I was about to post what WeeGee # 77 said about CK & HK. I was looking at BaSi’s birthday pix and video and came across one of CK & HK with the owner of the pix. BaSi is a gorgeous bear. I hope she lives many more years even though she’s already beat the odds. Her keeper has been taking of her for 20 yrs and you can see the close bond they have.

  84. Dianna from Ohio says:

    #83 Marie: Thanks for the link!! How lucky for Chet to meet the world famous CK and HK. Wonder if they know how popular they are worldwide? 🙂

    I had to go back and watch the LP video.. I bet Tom the Keeper will be glad when CK is back so LP will start behaving again!! 🙂

  85. Frances in NYC says:

    That is great news, Danielle–thanks for posting!

  86. Dianna from Ohio says:

    What is the story with BaSi? Her keeper doesn’t look old enough to have watched her for 20 years!! 🙂

    Did anyone notice the long claws on BaSi? Reminded me of a grizzly bear… She is a very pretty bear…

  87. Amanda says:

    #83 Marie – Thanks for posting the link. BaSi is a beautiful Panda! I loved the clip showing the royal BaSi wave.

    #77 Weegee – does CK know he has “fans” all over? Sounds like there was some excitement of his arrival at the Fuzhou Conference.

  88. Celfy says:

    #82 Danielle that is fantastic news. Glad to hear that pandas are not just surviving in the wild but breeding too.

    I just read that the news on the latest USA panda’s gender has been announced and it’s a boy!

  89. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    I read on a website that a doctor let slip during an interview that Lun Lun and Yang Yang have a boy. Congrats to Xi Lan and Mei Lan on your new brother!

  90. Lucilla in Singapore says:

    YZ: HELLO HELLO, X MAN, so happy for you. Congrats on your baby brother!

    XL: YAY! I have not stopped jumping up and down.

    YZ: Wowie, our gang is increasing.

    XL: Thanks to the hoomans who helped. Mama had a hooman who was feeding her sugar cane and water while she was nursing the baby.

    YZ: Yeah, I have a nannykeeper who gives me treaties. And I like Ping’s nannykeeper. He dances with her.

    XL: Hahaha, I think your cousin makes him dance with her.

    YZ: Hee Hee, she says she has to help him keep fit.

    XL: I can’t wait for my brother to open his eyes and to make his debut. Then Mama says I can help her. I can’t wait to teach the cubbie how to handle the Mommie Monster.

    YZ: Your Mama is not that scary.

    XL: Well, you have to be there.

    YZ: I like your Mama cos she always gives me red packets filled with treats.

    XL: I like your Mama cos she is cool and is great at playing games. Remember the time she acted like she was a Vampire Panda?

    YZ: Hee Hee, she would have been a great actress I think. She is a little like that hooman actress…

    XL: Megan Fox???

    YZ: NOOOO, my mama is like that famous one called Meryl Streep, she acted as a cook in this movie with yummy food. She was really good and beautiful. Nooo, I think she is Angeline Jolie….woah…

    XL: Oh. Hmmm, Auntie Bai Yun as Angeline Jolie? Hmmm, …..I think my Mama is beautiful too with her fluffy cheeks. I think she is like that Drew Barrymore or Halle Berry…

    YZ: My daddy is like George Clooney, I think….he is cool and good with the ladies….

    XL: My daddy is naughty and fun, I think he is like Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt…

    (And the 2 cubbies collapse laughing.)

    YZ: Wouldn’t it be funny if our mamas and papas could be in a movie together?

    XL: Or what if they formed a rock and roll band or a singing group like Black Eyed Peas?

    YZ: Hee Hee, my mama can be like Gwen Stefanie? And yours like Fergie?


    (The 2 boys are rolling around, laughing out loud.)

  91. Amanda says:

    Congrats Zoo Atlanta! It’s a boy! Xi Lan is a big brother now!

  92. Cindy in East Lansing says:

    Zoo Atlanta just announced via their Facebook that the new cubbie is a boy! I’m thinking Xi Lan is probably happy about that, now that he’s a big brother.

  93. Chari Mercier says:

    AZ panda cub alert!! Just got on the AZ website and there was some great news about Lun’s baby panda. IT’S A BOY!!!! 😀 I guess you can say that I guessed it without really knowing for sure. I was hoping for a girl, but another boy is just fine. They had a couple of great pictures of the cub with the dark black color on him, and his fur is starting go grow and get a little thicker. He is soooooo adorable, you all!! AZ pandacam is up and running, and I got a quick peek of the cub’s head when he popped out from behind his mom’s big furry arms, then Lun switched positions and quickly hid the cub under those arms! The vets also did a quick exam on him, and his tummy is very round and full, and he weighs 11 ounces. They will get an update written up and posted later on today, hopefully with other measurements on the cub. They also have a quick closeup video of the cub up on the photo gallery page. You all will be doing ooooohs and aaaaaws on this little guy!

    Well, gonna go and get back to the AZ pandacam for another peek of this little cutey cub!

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  94. Danielle, NY says:

    #86 Dianna from Ohio – I noticed Ba Si’s long claws as well. I have been wondering for a while if long hair on the paws, often observed on older pandas, and now with seeing the pictures of Ba Si, if long claws as well are not due to lack of exercise. That the hair and claws in elderly pandas are not naturally worn off but walking, climbing trees and so on.

  95. Danielle, NY says:

    Keep checking Chet’s Flickr account; she keeps posting videos of Ba Si. My favorite recent picture of Ba Si is her sitting in front of her spa eating her veggies
    I thought only pandas in Lucilla’s stories have spas!!! Don’t miss the picture from May 2009 that Chet posted in the comment’s section showing Ba Si in her spa…. Lucky lady indeed!
    Moderator, do you know if there are pictures of Ba Si when she was at the SDZ in 1987 on the SDZ’s website or other sites?

    Moderator’s note: I know we don’t have any photos of her on our Web site.

  96. Paula in Atlanta says:

    SOOO excited we have another boy. It will be very interesting to see if he is a rambunctious as Xi Lan was and if she handles this one as roughly as she did him. Due to meetings, etc., I had not been able to check in on mother and cub since Monday and, OMG, how much he had changed. He’s looking more and more like a panda. Lun Lun has been very generous showing him today, leaving him several times already and at times she is having a hard time covering him completely. That LONG tail or his head keep poking out. He moves a lot. The fun has officially begun!

  97. barbara says:

    I watched the video on the CBS Morning show of the babies exam.He is a little butterball, he didn’t make a sound while being checked over but from what you could see he sure does look healthy, his markings are quite dark and his eyes look like circles Just BEAUTIFUL. and yes his sex was a slip of the tongue

  98. barbara says:

    Danielle #95 If you google basi the panda and click on the first one they have great pictures of Basi when she turned 25 and beautiful story about the lady who saved her. She certainly is the Grand Madame of pandas even at 30 years old

  99. Frances in NYC says:

    Sweet scene between Bai and Yun Zi seemingly playing patty-paw lying side-by-side near the water cooler in the classroom. Oh now he’s climbed on top of her, she pushes him off, he’s kicking her with his back feet. It’s a slow-motion play session!

  100. Danielle, NY says:

    Don’t miss the update about Shuan Shuan at the Guadalajara Zoo. www(dot)giantpandazoo(dot)com/panda/http:/

    Shuan Shuan is a 23 year old female born at the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City and spending time at the Guadalajara Zoo since July and until January 2010. Jeroen posted some very nice pictures, some of which are reminding me of Zhen Zhen and the duck family, but in this case it is a much closer encounter…

  101. Grace says:

    Just witnessed a very brief play session between Bai Yun and Yun Zi. It was such a treat since play sessions between Bai and Yuni are becoming less and less frequent!

  102. Jola, Austria says:

    Find some new photos of Su Lin (high up in a tree!), Zhen Zhen, Mei Sheng & Tai Shan at Bifengxia taken Nov 20, 2010: http://wp(dot)me/pg0FT-ET

    Kudos to Eveline Dungl, Fu Long’s keeper at Zoo Vienna, for the photos. 🙂