When we were in China in November, we were fortunate to meet a number of people who have adopted pandas through PI. Among the group were those who had JUST adopted Lin Bing, the beloved panda born in Thailand’s Chiang Mai Zoo. Lin Bing was returned to China earlier this year to find a mate during the next breeding season who, it is planned, will return to Thailand with her.
We were not certain, upon departing for China, whether Lin Bin was still in quarantine at Bifengxia but were excited to find out (as were her adoptors) that she was, indeed, in her new enclosure and visible to the public.
On of Lin Bing’s adoptors, Nong, arrived on our second day at the base. Nong fell in love with Lin Bing in Thailand and had not seen her since her departure. We joined her for the tear-filled reunion and asked her to share her story with us, she graciously agreed.
Lin Ping was the first Giant Panda born in Thailand and was on the front pages of leading Thai newspapers almost every day for few weeks. When I saw Lin Ping in the newspaper I did not feel that she was cute at all, but when she grew up (and started to look a bit like her parents) I started to see her cuteness. I thought she was so cute, in fact, that I decided to see her in person at the zoo at her public debut.
It was on Lin Hui’s birthday, September 28th, 2009. The zoo organized a birthday event for the mother and introduced Lin Ping to the public on that day.
Visitors had to buy tickets to see little Lin Ping. There were big crowds on the first day. I had to wait in line for at least an hour or so for a chance to see Lin Ping for less than 5 minutes. My original plan was to fly from Bangkok to Chiangmai in the morning, to see Lin Ping, then go back to Bangkok the same day on an afternoon flight. However, when I first saw Lin Ping I fell in love with her immediately. I postponed my flight and bought a ticket to see Lin Ping again in the afternoon. On the way back home I began to realize that I was madly in love with this cute Panda already.
After our love-at-first-sight visit, I went back to see Lin Ping whenever I had a chance. I flew from Bangkok to Chiangmai at least once a month to see her. Every time I visited, I spent at least 7-8 hours doing nothing but taking pictures of her and her parents. Each time when I looked at the pictures I could remember the happy feelings of spending my time with her.
My relationship with Lin Ping became even closer when I was lucky to win a random drawing prize from the “Lin Ping Happy Family” program organized by the zoo. The prize was to take a picture with little Lin Ping!
I had a second chance to take a picture with Lin Ping when, on her 3rd birthday, I was the one won the “Pandas : The Real Fan” program prize. There were many contestants who had to answers difficult questions about Lin Ping. The prizes I won were a special trophy created for this program and (the biggest prize for me) a chance to take a photograph with Lin Ping!
After winning the contest I decided to join the “volunteer keeper” program. I volunteered at least 4-5 times having a chance each time to be close to and do things for Lin Ping and her parents.
In September 2013, the month when Lin Ping had to go home, I went to see her every weekend so that I could spend as much time with her as possible before she went home to china. I did not go with Lin Ping on the plane, but had a chance to see her off until she approached the cargo door. I have to admit that I was in tears that day. It is quite a coincidence that the day I first saw Lin Ping, September 28th , was the same day I had to see Lin Ping off to her mother land. During the first four years with Lin Ping there was not even one day I did not think of and love her. My love of Lin Ping increases every day still today. My wish is for Lin Ping to spend her life at the place that is best for her. No matter how far I am from Lin Ping I will find time to go to visit her.
One month after she left Thailand, I had a chance to visit Lin Ping at BFX Panda Base. The day I went to see her was a very good day, nice weather and very beautiful surroundings. When I first saw her, Lin Ping was enjoying her bamboo. I didn’t know whether she remembered me or not, but I was glad to see that she looked back at me when I called her name. After spending time with her, I really believe that after Lin Ping adjusts herself here she will be very happy and better off in her mother land.
For those of you wondering….YES, Lin Bing is adoptable through Pandas International no matter what country you live in!! You can visit our adoption page to find out more: