A Balance Of Pandas

March 16 is International Panda Day – not to be confused with International Red Panda Day which is celebrated in September. International Panda Day is a day to celebrate the beloved black and white clowns of the bear world.

Pandas have meant a lot to me for many, many years. The first time I saw giant pandas in Australia was at Melbourne Zoo in 1988 when Fei Fei and Xiao Xiao toured Australia. I was so excited to see these almost mythical animals and they did not disappoint. They were much smaller than I expected but as cute and playful as I thought they’d be. The next time I saw giant pandas was at Adelaide Zoo in 2010 when I did a VIP tour to meet Fu Ni and Wang Wang. I got to pat them on their heads and feed them fruit, vegetables and panda cake through the bars of their enclosures. I then got to go into their outdoor enclosures and hide treats for them. It was an awesome experience! Happily I’ve been able to visit these fluff balls a few more times over the years. The cuddly pair are the first and only giant pandas (so far) to be loaned to an Australian zoo. 

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Being panda mad, I dreamed of going to China to visit pandas in their homeland. Finally my dream came true in 2013 when I went to China and met a one year old baby panda called Miao Miao. As I sat on a bench Miao Miao was placed next to me and I got to give her a cuddle and a couple of pats. The little panda seemed happy to meet her smiling fans – probably because she was rewarded with bamboo, apples and honey! I got to tour a few panda centres and enjoyed seeing the black and white bears in their homeland. It really was a trip of a lifetime.

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Coincidentally, International Panda Day falls close to the Autumn Equinox in the southern hemisphere and the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere. The equinoxes symbolise balance as do the black and white colours of the giant panda. So while the world goes mad, grab some balancing vibes and stay calm by thinking of pandas. 🙂

6 comments

  1. Happy Panda Day! What a beautiful photo of you and Miao Miao. Thanks to you when we visited China we made a trip to Chengdu, such a beautiful peaceful place and the pandas were so adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to have found your blog. I’m in Malaysia where I volunteer at the panda complex in Zoo Negara Malaysia. Fu Wa, our papa panda, is Adelaide Zoo’s Fu Ni’s twin brother. He’s sired two baby girls with his mate Feng Yi since they arrived in 2014. Nuan Nuan, the elder girl, was returned to China in November 2017. Two months later, her baby sister Yi Yi was born. Yes, our pandas mated following the southern hemisphere’s spring equinox for their second baby. Read more about it here if you’re interested.

    http://mypandas.org/2018/01/first-panda-cub-of-2018-born-in-malaysia/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for contacting me! I have Malaysian friends and they gifted me with a panda plush toy of Feng Yi cuddling baby Nuan Nuan. Thanks to you I now know that Nuan Nuan is Fu Ni’s niece!

      Great article. Feng Yi’s breeding cycle is certainly fascinating. Pandas are such complex creatures. Hopefully Fu Ni and Wang Wang will have a cub soon so handsome Fu Wa can become an uncle. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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