Friday, June 13, 2008

China Day 14: Panda Moon

Our final stop before boarding the plane for Xi'an is the Chongqing Zoo, where we get to see the pandas!

At the zoo, the first creatures we saw were Red Pandas
which look like the adorable love child of a fox and a raccoon. It was stinking hot, and the red pandas did their best to beat the heat:
We walked a bit farther and got to the Giant Panda cages (Fred called them Great Pandas) just at feeding time. This
is all they eat.

Because of the heat the pandas didn't seem particularly interested in food, though. They were a lot more concerned with keeping cool. Their enclosures have little cave shelters, and many of them just stayed in there. The enclosures also had wading pools, though:
She's splashing water on herself in the last one. This is one of Ling Ling's daughters; she was by far the most active panda that day. After her little swim, she decided to sunbathe on the deck, where she deliberately
gave us the Panda Moon. She remained meditatively there
the rest of our visit, while her mother eventually decided she was hungry and came out for a snack.
Our fellow panda viewers included this little dude (dudette actually, I think)
in those bizarre split pants I can't get over.

There was a little extra time, and some of us asked if we could see more of the zoo. Fred said OK, but we could only see one extra animal. The nearest one was this:
Isn't that a nice view of the hippo?

On the way out, Dad made some new friends:
There was something about the monkey's earlobes - maybe touching them is lucky? but I didn't write it down, and now I've completely forgotten.

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