China, November 2013 – Travel Notes
Our tour around BFX in November took us from the Kindergarten to White Bear Plains (Bai Xiong Ping). There we met Wang Jia, Tong Tong, Jin Ke, Yi Bao, Xiang Ge, Qian Qian, Bai Yang, and Wen Yu.
Wang Jia was in the first enclosure directly in front of the Love Corridor when we saw her for the first time (she swapped enclosures with Wen Yu by the end of our visit). She was quietly napping in her “house” as we passed by. Wang Jia was rescued as a cub from the wild in Baoxing on December 1, 2007.
Tong Tong was completely camera shy the first time we stopped by to see him, barely turning to say hello. Happily, upon our return visit, he was ready for a closeup. Tong Tong was born August 30, 2004 to mother #20 and father Xi Meng. He is the youngest offspring of #20. His brother, Yang Guang, is at the Edinburgh Zoo.
Jin Ke was contentedly SNORING when we stopped by to meet him. He woke long enough to munch a stalk of bamboo and then rolled back over to continue his nap. He was born on July 15, 2009. His mother is Bai Xue and his father is not known. We have learned that since our visit, Jin Ke has moved to his new home in Langzhong.
Yi Bao was almost as stubborn as Tong Tong – choosing to keep his back to us much of the time while he had his breakfast. We finally moved to a slightly different viewing angle and he gave us a momentary profile shot. Like Wang Jia, Yi Bao was rescued as a cub from the wild in Baoxing. He was rescued on December 10, 2006. He is the father of Yi Ran (from our Kindergarten post) and Yi Chang who we will be featuring in our Dujiangyan post in a few weeks.
Xiang Ge was also enjoying a nice bamboo breakfast. It’s mesmerizing watching pandas tear apart those giant stalks. Xiang Ge was born August 7, 2007 to Hai Zi. His father is Wu Gang. Le Le, who is at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, and Kai Kai (aka Wu Jie) in the Singapore Zoo, are his siblings.
Although you may not be able to tell from this photo, Qian Qian was probably the most playful panda we saw all day. She was running around her enclosure, playing with a piece of the tarp from her house, and climbing everything. She was a joy to watch. She was born on September 11, 2006 to You You. Her father is Ying Ying and Duo Duo is her twin.
Bai Yang was playing a game of hide and seek with us. He was also rescued from the wild near Baoxing – on March 12, 2005. Zhang Xiang, who was released into the wild last year and her twin sister, Su Shan (the panda named after PI director Suzanne Braden), are his offspring.
Our final visit in White Bear Plains was Wen Yu. She is the most peaceful panda we had seen all day. Her movements and demeanor are calm and slow. Born on September 24, 2007 she is the last surviving cub of Mao Mao, who was killed in the 2008 earthquake. Her siblings include Wang Wang of the Adelaide Zoo and Xi Dou who is living at Huang Shan Panda Ecological Park.
Thank you, again, to Chet Chin for filling in our “history” about these wonderful pandas.