Tuesday, April 5, 2016

National Zoo Pandas

Visiting the National Zoo
I have written about the Andean bear cubs and the orangutans in the National Zoo.  The main reason we went to the zoo was to see the Pandas!  We hoped to see the baby, Bei Bei.   We were so lucky that in early March the weather was warm.  We arrived to the zoo at 9:00 and planned to spend most of the day there. 

We headed straight for the Pandas because we feared that later in the day there would be a lot of people.  We had no lines to wait in!  One of the Pandas was chowing on bamboo.  We got to watch as he stripped the bamboo of all leaves and then used his strong teeth to crunch into his meal. 

A Collage of the Panda Eating Bamboo

We were told that Bei Bei was in a tree sleeping and that we could see him from the upper level.  Of course, we went the wrong way and followed a path that we later found out was for zoo staff only.  I guess, the fact that we were no longer on a sidewalk should have given us a clue that we were in forbidden territory.  Fortunately, we did not end up in any animal exhibits but ended up on a sidewalk behind the Pandas.  We followed it and found we were close to the Panda CafĂ© that had an overlook where Bei Bei was napping.


This is Bei Bei napping in the tree.  This was the most he would show himself.

Here is a video of a Panda eating bamboo.  If you listen carefully, you will hear him cracking into the bamboo.

video
We left the Pandas and visited the rest of the zoo.  On our way out, we check out the Pandas again but there were a lot more people there.  We made sure we did not take the forbidden path to the overlook when we checked to see if Bei Bei was awake.  He was still asleep, and the crowd made it difficult to get up close.  I am so glad we had already seen them.