October 2013

Pandas International eNewsletter
Some original material reprinted by Pandas International’s Newsletter is used without editing for accepted English usage.
Suzanne’s Annual Trip to China – Quick Recap
Tai Shan, September 2013

Tai Shan, September 2013

Pandas International’s Director, Suzanne Braden, just returned from her annual trip to China. During her travels, Suzanne visited both the Panda Base at Bifengxia and the new Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Dujiangyan. While a detailed trip review will be posted in the coming weeks on our blog, here are a few highlights:

Many supplies were delivered to the Bifengxia base. Tai Shan is doing well — he’s healthy and content in his new enclosure. While he didn’t mate successfully this year, he did participate in the program and the exposure to the female pandas was key to his future mating efforts. The newly constructed corridor, funded by PI, looks fantastic. She visited both the kindergarten and the breeding center to see this year’s cubs (always a highlight).

The new CDC is beautiful. The grounds host a hospital, administration building, reception area, and tourist center. The hospital should be open in a few months. The tourist center is still under construction but will be a fantastic display. Lots of new bamboo is growing on the grounds. Ten pandas are currently living on the grounds, including Suzanne’s adopted daughter Su Shan. All are doing well.

Look for more detailed trip reports about all of the Pandas at Bifengxia and the CDC in the coming weeks on our blog >>
Filming Pandas in 3D — a Sky3D and Nat Geo Wild Production
Discovery Channel filming Pandas in China

Discovery Channel filming
Pandas in China

Almost a year ago, a TV crew of six, plus about a metric ton of equipment, ventured into the wilds of China to to film Pandas in 3D. They visited China’s Sichuan province three times — to film the animals mating, with their young, and to witness a release into the wild. They found each visit “more extraordinary than the last.” Their final filming trip, to the Wolong Panda Center, focused on Tao Tao’s release into the wild. With only verbal permission, granted the night before the release, they were able to capture the historic event. Director Nicolas Brown recalls,” High up in a remote mountain reserve we watched Tao Tao’s historic journey from captivity back into the wild. When Tao Tao finally did trundle off into the forest, it struck me that the world has been waiting for a good news environmental story. Tao Tao is still thriving a year on. And we were fortunate enough to capture it, in glorious 3D!”

Pandas 3D: Back to the Wild aired on September 22nd and will be available in the future in both 2D and 3D digital formats.
Taipei's baby Panda on the Move

Taipei’s baby Panda on the Move
“Yuan Zai” is on the Move in Taiwan

The Taipei Zoo’s baby panda, nicknamed “Yuan Zai,” is practicing crawling according to zoo officials. The female cub, born on July 6, is in good health, is growing fast, and is developing right on track.

Panda Photos and Videos
Mei Xiang and her Cub Share Snuggles in this Video
The National Zoo’s panda cub is four weeks old and is much more visible on the panda cam. The yet-to-be-named baby was given a clean bill of health after a 20-minute exam last week, her first full vet examination. She is 10.6 inches long from nose to tail and 9.8 inches wide around her belly. Mei Xiang continues to be a vigilant and caring mother.
Cub snuggles >>
Atlanta’s Twins Cuter Every Day
Yun Zi’s 4th Birthday
The newborn twin panda cubs at Zoo Atlanta are getting stronger every day and are preparing to make their debut. In a new video taken of the cubs at 70 days old, the zoo’s veterinarian staff gives them a check-up on the exam table in the nursery, where they are regularly weighed and measured. “Cub A” and “Cub B,” as they are affectionately known for now, are seen in the video nuzzling up to one another — a sign they are starting to recognize their twin.© San Diego Zoo - Yun Zi Celebrates his  4th Birthday at the San Diego Zoo

© San Diego Zoo – Yun Zi Celebrates his
4th Birthday at the San Diego Zoo
Atlanta's Twins Cuter Every DaySee the cubs >>
Zoo Atlanta Twins

Zoo Atlanta Twins
Why Are Panda Cubs So Small?

Ever wonder why it is that panda cubs are born so very small (only 1/900th the size of their mothers)? One researcher who has spent years researching endangered animals and ecology in China says it is likely due to their bamboo diet. Dr Dajun Wang says that their size is a “kind of breeding strategy” and that bamboo, which is nutritionally poor, is converted into milk far easier than into animal tissue.

You can read the full Huffington Post interview with Dr. Wang>>
Why Pandas Don’t “Deserve to Die”

In September, on our blog, we featured a three part series “rebuttal” against those who argue that Pandas are a “worthless” species that should be allowed to die out. Dan Nasowitz, PopSci.com’s Associate Editor, compiled a well written and scientifically-based set of arguments as to why Pandas SHOULD be protected. Mr. Nasowitz finds the idea that we are only saving the Giant Panda because it is a “cute” species” both flawed and harmful to the conservation movement as a whole. He tackled diet, breeding difficulties, the idea that Pandas are simply a “figurehead” species, the conservation movement, and the power that the Panda has as a global conservation species.

National Zoo Panda Keepers Train at Bifengxia
Juan Rodriguex spent time with the Kindergartners at Bifengxia

Juan Rodriguex spent time with the Kindergartners at Bifengxia

Juan Rodriguez and his colleague Marty Dearie, both Panda keepers at the Smithsonian National Zoo, spent time recently at the Panda Base in Bifengxia training and fostering collaboration between the two facilities. Juan recounted his time at the Panda Base in Bifengzia as “an amazing learning experience on all levels.” Rodriguez told Smithsonian.com about working with the keepers in China who have years and years of knowledge working with pandas both in captivity and in their wild habitat. They not only witnessed three cub births, one of which was a set of twins, but also had a chance to see how the nursery staff cares for the neonatal cubs, ranging from birth to two weeks of age, and some other cubs who were a month or two months old. He stated that seeing pandas at all different age stages all at once was “an invaluable learning experience.”

Read the full article and more about Juan’s insight on Mei Xiang
and the National Zoo’s newest addition >>
An Afternoon with PI at Cesco Osteria

…with Suzanne Braden, Director of Pandas International (PI) and meet two research assistants who work directly with all the Pandas at the Bifengxia Giant Panda Reserve on Sunday, October 6th, 2013 from 2-5pm.

Suzanne Braden has just returned from two weeks in China and will share wonderful updates about and pictures of the Giant Pandas at Bifengxia (including our Rock Star Tai Shan) and Dujiangyan, China (including Tian Tian’s Dad and Tai’s Grandfather, Pan Pan).

The event will take place at Cecso Osteria
Cesco Osteria
7401 Woodmont Ave
2 Bethesda Metro Center
Bethesda, MD 20814

The price of admission is $40 per person.
A percentage of the proceeds will be used to help PI fund the travel
for the two research assistants to the U.S. as well as the courses they will attend.

The following appetizers will be provided with the price of admission:
Marguerita Pizza
Penne pasta with fresh tomato and basil sauce
Vegetable and cheese rice balls

Beverages may be purchased separately.

Contact us at info@pandasinternational.org or 303-933-2365 for more information.

Purchase Tickets >>
2014 Panda Calendars are
in the Online Store — HURRY

The 2014 Panda Calendars have arrived and are now for sale in our online store.
We receive a very limited number of these
18 month calendars each year and when they are gone, they’re gone!
Head over and grab yours today!
2014 Pandas Calendar

Tai Shan’s 8th Birthday Presentation
is Ready!

A beautiful compilation of photos featuring
Tai Shan from his birth at the National Zoo
until his 8th birthday at Bifengxia
has been put together.
The photo presentation is available
for purchase in our store for $10.
Tai Shan