What Is New in Panda Land?

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The answer to that question is generally the same: Not a lot…and lots! We’re into our summer schedule here at the San Diego Zoo and that includes pandas and the Zoo’s Education Department. The panda viewing area, which features Zhen Zhen and Gao Gao this week, is now open until about 8:30 p.m. daily. Gao and Su Lin continue to rotate spots every few weeks, and it’s now Su’s turn to take a break in the back.

Bai Yun remains in seclusion in the “classroom” area as she has since mating with Gao in April; no word yet as to a possible pregnancy. A quick pass through the viewing area earlier yesterday showed pretty much the same as usual (ZZ eating her lunch in the shade) and the not-so-usual (Gao Gao sleeping inside the hollow tree?). He typically saves that spot for rainy or cold days, of which that day was neither in San Diego, but, hey, it’s his tree for now, and he can do what he wishes.

If you visit the Giant Panda Research Station, you’ll see lots of new faces, as narrators and educators switch schedules to cover special tours, Zoo Camp, and other activities. Also new this summer, you can get a Backstage Pass for a special animal encounter, presentations, photo opportunity, and priority seating at the new evening bird show, “Soar” and the Wegeforth Bowl shows, as well as priority seating on our Bus Tour. Check the Web site for more detailed information; as they say, something’s always happening at the Zoo.

Ellie Rosenbaum is a panda narrator and educator at the San Diego Zoo.

Moderator’s note: We will have birthday cakes for Su Lin and Zhen Zhen on their respective birthdays.