Thank You, Panda Fans!

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Yun Zi and Bai Yun enjoy their remodeled digs.

Friday’s reopening of our giant panda exhibits was a huge success! It was so nice to see Bai Yun, Yun Zi, and even Gao Gao exploring their new areas.  Gao surprised us with his climbing skills: he really seemed to enjoy the new furniture!

Bai and Yun Zi were hysterical; we put out some loamex mulch in their cave, and they had so much fun rolling in the pile and getting very dirty! But that was not all: they entertained us by playing on the new climbing logs and exploring the new plants. I held my breath thinking little Yun Zi was going to go on a plant attack!

As a keeper, it is so rewarding to be able to take a exhibit space and turn it into a wonderful, enriching environment for the animals in our care. This all could not be possible without the generous donations of our panda fans through the Zoo’s Animal Care Wish List. The monies you contributed helped pay for the rental of the crane to set the new climbing logs in place, new plants, two new shade trees, and beautiful green sod.

I did want to mention it was a team effort working for almost three weeks getting our exhibits ready for the public. With this is mind, I want to thank our horticulture, and construction and maintenance departments, and sun bear and nursery keepers; they all pitched in to make our exhibits beautiful.

Remodeling our exhibits was truly a labor of love for our black-and-white kids. On behalf of all of our Zoo staff, we cannot thank you enough for your donations!  Please stop by our exhibits and enjoy seeing our pandas in their new exhibits. You helped make this happen!

Kathy Hawk is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Bai Yun through the Years.

Watch video of the re-opening day!