Pandodyssey™ Panda Blog

This is a blog devoted to Giant Panda enthusiasts, environmental wanna-bes and peace loving funimals, world-wide.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Domestic Panda News

Caucus Covers Panda Points

In domestic panda news, officials of American panda-wielding and panda-wanting zoos met in Memphis this week to discuss the business of pandas. Members of the Giant Panda Conservation Foundation are preparing to send a team to China's Wolong Nature Reserve to see how conservationists there are spending the $1 million/year that US zoos pay to lease the pandas. US zoos are hoping to negotiate lower rates with China to lease future pandas.

Towne, retired director of the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and past president of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, was part of a U.S. delegation that recently opened talks on lowerng the loan fees. At China's Wolong nature reserve, he saw a bumper crop of 16 baby pandas being tended in facilities improved by money and expertise from American zoos.

"I am impressed with the progress that's been made," Towne said. Before the loans began, "China really had no money for wildlife conservation. The money that came out of U.S. zoos has made a major difference."

We need a "bumper crop of baby pandas" in DC! And on that note:


Some prefer panda as symbol of D.C.

WASHINGTON — The very idea is enough to make a panda lover's heart skip a beat. Washington, D.C., is searching for a suitable animal to become its official symbol, and it appears the giant panda is rapidly making its cuddly way toward the top of the list.

"The panda ought to be a strong possibility for the city's representative animal," said Linda Cropp, chairwoman of the City Council of the District of Columbia. "The official animal chosen really should be what captures the imagination of the children and makes them feel good, and the panda does that."

The fact that the bamboo-loving, tree-dwelling creature is not native to the U.S. has not gone unnoticed. But growing numbers of supporters point to the three pandas at the city's National Zoo, and all three are wildly popular with Washingtonians. While the adult pandas, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang, were both born in China, they have been living at the zoo for more than six years. Their 10-month-old cub, Tai Shan, was born at the zoo, technically making him an American citizen.

And a son of immigrants I might add--it's the Great American melting pot! A win-win for all.


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