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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Panda Cub Opens Eyes at San Diego Zoo

Picture from Creative Commons

I came across this article about Bai Yun, the giant panda on a twelve-year loan from China. The San Diego zoo received the two pandas on loan when I used to live in southern Ca, so this article caught my eye. I remember how the news focused on Bai Yun’s first pregnancy and how the public flocked to the zoo to take pictures and see the baby panda once it ventured out for public viewing. They installed a Panda Cam for viewing before that.

The Giant Pandas, Bai Yun and Shi Shi, first arrived in 1987. The San Diego Zoo built a new special enclosure for the bears, so I imagine the agreement has been extended. There are now four pandas at the zoo counting this new baby, which they will name when it reaches a hundred days old.

Bai Yun gave birth to her sixth cub on July 29. He has just opened his eyes, hence the news article. Here are a few facts about pandas you may not know and some cute pictures.

Despite the size of an adult panda, the baby will fit in your hand. Amazing!

Adults pandas weigh from 70 to 125 KG (154.32 – 275.57 pounds) and babies weigh one thousandth the weight of adults and are only 15 CM (5.9 inches) long.

From San Diego Zoo Site

They live mainly in the mountain forests of southwest China where bamboo grows.

Eyes do not open until the cub is six weeks old

They spend 14 hours a day eating. Aside from bamboo, they also eat branches, leaves, and small mammals.

Pandas only sleep when they feel like it, not like people who must sleep everyday.

The baby stays with the mother for 48 months afterbirth.

Gestation time is 3-5 months and the mother can have up to three cubs, but usually only one survives.

There is only one panda for every 6 million people

Picture from the Bear Project


  1. amazing facts...amazing creatures... one supposes that they be feeling OK in a zoo if they're breeding successfully

  2. Hi Valerie,

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    When I ran across this article I decided to do a bit of research on pandas. The zoos try to keep as natural of an environmant for the bears as they can - well actually for all the animals there. They want them to feel at home in somethimg very similar to where they come from.

    There is a Wild Animal Park not far from San Diego and you can see the animals out in their natural habitat there.


  3. I went to the San Diego Zoo as a child, and I know we saw the pandas, but I can't remember!
    That adorable tiny baby looks like a little pink lizard!

  4. Susan,

    Yes, it is hard to belive that the babies are so small.

    The San Diego Zoo is very large and has a very good set up for the animals. It's an all day affair to go there, lots of walking, but they have tour buses too if you're not able to walk that much, lots of ups and downs in the trails.


  5. City,

    Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.



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