A New World!

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Yun Zi in his new enclosure

After a lot of work and preparation, Bai Yun and Yun Zi have been moved into the main public viewing area of the San Diego Zoo’s Giant Panda Research Station. So far, Yun Zi has been exploring his new exhibit and has been loving every second of it. Right after he entered the exhibit, following his mother, he began climbing around and checking everything out. We couldn’t be happier with this response!

Our morning began with getting their exhibit cleaned and prepared for Yun Zi, making sure that there was nothing that he could possibly get hurt on or stuck in. We then got the back classroom area, which had been used by Bai Yun and Yun Zi each morning, ready for big sister Zhen Zhen’s move. On her way through the tunnel system to the classroom, Zhen came across a scent that was quite familiar: her mother. Right as Zhen walked by Bai Yun’s back bedroom, where Mom and cub have been residing for the past six months, she became very curious, and it took a little more encouragement on our part to get her past that area. Eventually Zhen Zhen made it to the classroom exhibit door, and she seemed very excited to be in a new area.

After Zhen Zhen was secure in the classroom, we began the move with Bai Yun and Yun Zi. Bai Yun has always been very easy to move, and she was eager to see where she was being directed to. She began walking down the tunnel, and sure enough, little Yun Zi did a wonderful job of following his mother.

We are so pleased with how everything went this morning, but we do have some things that everyone needs to be aware of. Bai Yun and Yun Zi will have access to the bedroom attached to their new exhibit space, and later in the day, access to their bedroom in the back. So at this time we are not promising a view of the cub; in fact, there is a chance that there will be days when Yun Zi stays inside the bedroom. This is something that we have gone through with other cubs, and we expect to get through this transition with little difficulty and a short period of time!

Anastasia Horning is a panda narrator at the San Diego Zoo.