Snow Big Deal!

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It’s been rather cold lately in San Diego. Even those of us who have lived in the cold before weren’t ready for this snap…and then, it got even colder. In fact, it snowed!

But just at the panda exhibit in the San Diego Zoo’s Panda Trek.

What better way to get ready for our 3rd annual Jungle Bells event than with a little snow for our pandas? A flurry of the white stuff was blown in Thursday morning, and a winter wonderland was set up for Bai Yun and her two-year-old son, Yun Zi. This is the first time that the young panda had ever seen snow. He came out of his bedroom, tested the snow with his paw to see if he could walk on it, and then made his way from one corner of the exhibit to the other, not quite sure what to make of the new landscape! At one point he was digging in the snow and rubbed his face in the snow – not quite a snow angel, but something like that.

Our Horticulture Department staff constructed a 5-foot holiday tree from two types of bamboo (oldhamii and vivax) that was shaped to resemble a pine tree for Yun Zi to enjoy. They used a large block of ice for the tree stand, but it was no match for Yun Zi. He approached the tree, swiftly knocked it over, and nibbled the slices of fruit and vegetables that were hung as ornaments. I don’t think he appreciated the effort made, but we viewers did—the tree looked beautiful AND tasty!

Yun Zi then climbed up the icy tree stumps in his exhibit and napped above it all. Bai Yun stuck to her usual habits and sat in the middle of her exhibit munching on her morning bamboo, seeming oblivious to the snow around her. Ah well! It wasn’t until later in the day, when I went and checked out our new high-definition Panda Cam, that I noticed that he was running around, tumbling and really playing in the snow. Joy!

Enjoy the video of Yun Zi below:

Jenny Mehlow is a public relations representative for San Diego Zoo Global. Read her previous post, Name the Baby Koala.