Panda Surprises

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On a lovely afternoon, the pandas were doing their usual activities: Yun Zi was playing around on the branches of his exhibit, while Bai Yun sat and munched on bamboo for a good amount of time. A few times I could see the little wheels turning in Yun Zi’s head, trying to decide what to investigate. I love to watch him while on the job because he never seems to bore me.

Today he decided to try to steal his mom’s food right out of her paw. Bai Yun was sitting back, chomping on a large rod of bamboo. Yun Zi crawled right on her big, furry stomach and tried to grab the piece that was in her mouth. She turned away once, but, of course, that didn’t work. He tried again to take the piece of bamboo, and she pushed him with her paw. Yun Zi gave up and resorted to stealing the left-over pieces that were resting by her foot.

Bai Yun did surprise me a little today. She walked to her pond to take a drink, stopped, and looked at the water, watching small leaves floating on the top. She stared at one leaf and slowly moved her paw toward the water. Then she grabbed it as fast as she could and ate the leaf. It was hilarious! She did this again and again until all of the leaves were gone. I had never seen her do this before.

Every time I am at the Giant Panda Research Station, I always see the pandas’ personalities shine. They each have their own little quirks. And as we all know, the end of a panda’s day is never complete without a nap.

Alyssa Medeiros is a panda narrator at the San Diego Zoo.