Pandodyssey™ Panda Blog

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Yesterday's update from 20008

January 30: Up a Tree

Another first for Tai Shan! Yesterday morning, having explored every inch of the ground, Tai climbed up a tree for the first time. He played up there for hours and climbed as high as 18 feet. As it grew dark, the keepers wanted Tai to be safe inside for the night. While one person distracted Tai, another climbed up a ladder and carried him down.

Got cams?

In researching my upcoming visit to see Su Lin in June, I ran across this site: SAN DIEGO VIA CAM! These are links to San Diego Zoo web cams, conveniently located on one page, including of course, the panda cam!

If the pandas are asleep, don't be bummed! There are plenty of other cams to watch. I recommend checking out surf conditions at Scripps Pier. (weather report so far as I can tell from 3,000 miles away and at my desk: sunny & beautiful!) In addition there are also Del Mar or Imperial Beach cams, or the new! I-5/I-805 Traffic cam.

Taiwan Children Yearning for Pandas

or a better title would be "Hordes of Asian kids punched in eyes; Affect on math skills still unknown."

Hmmmm.... i seem to be having technical difficulties (read "blogger error") posting the image. Well...just click on the's funny i promise.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Jumpin' the Panda-Who's jumping with me?

The Latest post from Wonkette on The Stick seems overly concerned with jumping the shark: Out With the Stick, In With the Butter

Leave it to Wonkette to get the low down on pandastrology (TM). Okay, I just made that word up... NEVERTHELESS, according to the Stick's Chart:

"Moon in Leo
You love praise and attention and may show off in order to obtain it. Your mother may be very proud of you" (Tai, Mei says "Get offa that tree...don't make me come up there!!!")

Life is met with curiosity."

Sunday, January 29, 2006

California Girl

For anyone not in the know, here's a link to the most excellent San Diego Zoo's panda blog, which chronicles the daily events of Su Lin.

A recent job search at the San Diego zoo web site did not show any vacancy for the position of Panda Blogger.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

Scary WP article on the debate as to when the damage done by global warming will become irreparable. The major threats of global warming are to the ocean, including coral bleaching and rising sea levels. Obviously, it's just a matter of time. Kiribati, a small island nation of 33 atolls in the South Pacific, may already be feeling the effects. Two of its uninhabited islands disappeared underwater in 1999 . . .


January 27: Tai Shan Scent Marks

SoS Commends Chengdu Facility, US Zoos

Chengdu Panda Facility Teaches People About Endangered Species

During a speech in Chengdu, China, the second stop on a three-nation tour, US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, highlighted the importance of research facilities and zoos to the international efforts to preserve the giant panda.

Also according to this article, a zoo pays China a (one-time) fee of $600,000 for each panda cub born at the host zoo, even though the cub is later sent to China when it turns two years old. Doesn't seem very encouraging for breeding does it?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia

Taiwan is hardly the only country duking it out with China on the transnational front. A short list of other regional conflicts includes:
  • Spratly Islands conflict with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei (couldn't Brunei just BUY the Islands if they REALLY wanted them?);
  • Kashmir region conflict with India & Pakistan;
  • Paracel Islands conflict with Vietnam and Taiwan.

    However China and Taiwan do side together against Japan in rejecting Japan's claim to the uninhabited islands of Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) .

Some Facts on Taiwan

Population (July 2005): 22,894,384

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined

Geographic Note: strategic location adjacent to both the Taiwan Strait and the Luzon Strait

Background (from the CIA World Factbook 2005): "In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan. Taiwan reverted to Chinese control after World War II. Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1946 constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the native population within the governing structure. In 2000, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Throughout this period, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." The dominant political issues continue to be the relationship between Taiwan and China - specifically the question of eventual unification - as well as domestic political and economic reform. "

Cultural Fact You Didn't Need To Know: "Taiwan has the Asia Pacific’s and perhaps the world’s highest density of convenience stores per person: one store per 2,800 people or .000357 stores per person"

Some Facts on China

Population (July 2005): 1,306,313,812

Comparative area: slightly smaller than the United States

Background (from the CIA World Factbook 2005): "For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight. "

Cultural Fact You Already Knew: China is home to the Giant Panda!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Pandas Gone Wild! Part Deux

WARNING! This article is not for the faint of heart or loin! (CP2 i'm pointing my mouse in your general direction, which is ------> east!) This article contains graphic content not suitable for pandas under the age of two.

Spamming Soon to an Inbox Near You!
"After Thailand's most popular animal couple failed to mate, zoo officials are gearing up for plan B -- a DVD they hope will get Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui in the mood for love."

If you missed last week's post on this lascivicious pair, click here:
New Reality Show Idea for Fox

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

from the blog of a friend

Do chickens spit?
The third paragraph of this post is hysterical. . .

it's just one of the perks to being the deputy secretary of state assigned to manage U.S. relations with China

U.S. Envoy Engages In Panda Diplomacy Simple Hug Is Fraught With Symbolism

"CHENGDU, China, Jan. 25 -- Diplomacy is in large part symbolism, and the symbol was unmistakable. There was Robert B. Zoellick, the deputy secretary of state assigned to manage U.S. relations with China, hugging a baby panda.

Zoellick, who was formerly a member of the advisory council of the World Wildlife Fund, had a natural interest in visiting the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base here in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province in central China. The appealing creatures, he pointed out during a two-hour tour Wednesday, have long been a symbol of joint U.S.-Chinese efforts to preserve the environment and protect wild animals."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I've had no internet all day AUGHHHHH!!

Taiwan authorities urged early acceptance of panda pairs

Monday, January 23, 2006

Pandas Pandas Named Named

or Is There an Echo In here?

"Tuan Tuan" and "Yuan Yuan" have been voted the most popular names as the campaign to name of the pair of pandas selected as gifts for Taiwan wrapped up Saturday night."

"Indicating reunion after a long separation, the word tuan yuan means harmonious gathering in Chinese."

Good luck getting the pandas into Taiwan with those names, yeeesh...

Friday, January 20, 2006


Cross-Straight Relations Update

Image from
Xiaoguaiguai ("little darling") , left, and Huangmao Yatou ("cheeky girl"), right.

Taiwan People Expect Arrival of Panda Couple

BUT the Taiwanese Government is not Optimistic

The Pandas' Response: You say Po-Tay-to, I Say Po-TAH-to

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New reality show idea for Fox!?!?!?


"BANGKOK, Jan. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese pandas Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui have made their first mating in northern Chiang Mai city where they have dwelled for more than two years, local press reported Wednesday."

Smarter Than the Average Bear

If only pandas could speak!

"How different is China from Taiwan from New York, anyway? You want this bear's critique? I say we're seeing capitalist democracies, dictatorships and communism meet somewhere in the dismal middle, in a kind of free-market authoritarianism. Call it corporatism."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

SD leetle seesterrrr said...

"yes, certainly this is an innovative use for pandas--political tools in cross-straight relations-- what will the Chinese do next?? thank you pandologists for your ever-so-sharp observations!"

Don't be a hater just cuz my panda cub is cuter than your panda cub:
Su Lin (left) v. Tai Shan (right)

And speaking of politics, here's an update.

Taiwan's Abundance of Caution
"The council said that it would seek the opinion of conservationists and other experts, and would not be influenced by political considerations during their decision-making process. The final decision on whether to approve the pandas' entry will be announced by March 23."

Maybe if China can't work things out, Oakland can have Taiwan's pandas (In which case, this C.P. is definitely moving to CA...)

"Zoo director Joel Parrott said the remaining steps are smaller and easier to accomplish. The zoo needs to conduct financial planning documents, create a business plan and apply for export permits from China and import permits from the United States. The zoo also must build a panda exhibit.... "We are optimistic we can achieve it," Parrott said. "It is still a large hill, but it isn't the mountain that it was."

Friday, January 13, 2006


"Chinese researchers specialized in giant panda have discovered a new species, Qinling sub-species of panda. "

Counter added!

By popular demand, we've added a visitor counter to the Pandodyssey blog. As of this moment we had TWO (count 'em, 1 and 2!) visitors!! Thank you certified (and non!) pandologists for your comments and wisecracks!

In Internationl Panda News :

Mexico to borrow pandas from China:

And the China/Tawan saga continues:

The Standard:

Thursday, January 12, 2006

This is a sad day....

From the National Zoo website: 3:01 PM

"Web Cam Is Offline
This National Zoo web cam is currently undergoing maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience."

To donate to the National Zoo:

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Previous link text

Statesman News Service GANGTOK, Jan. 10. — The devastating fire in the forest at upper reaches of Barshey Rhododendron Sanctuary which began on 8 January was finally brought under control at around 4 p.m. today. Continuing their efforts yesterday, around 300 people of forest department, panchayats, Joint Forest Management Committee and locals from nearby areas slogged throughout the day that saw the fire at Bhareng, Ripdi and Lamutar areas of the sanctuary extinguished. However, Malingo bamboo plantations and other bio-diversity spread over an estimated 80 hectares have been completely razed, informed Mr Hari Pradhan, Conservator Forest (Wildlife) department. Top officials including the SP (West), DC (West) and the area MLA Mr Ran Bahadur Subba had visited the spot early in the morning and directed the fire fighting operations. Mr Pradhan further informed that there is no loss of wildlife. Malingo bamboos are found in abundance in those areas. It is also a known habitat of red pandas. However, it appears that the red pandas have managed to escape the fury of the forest fire. Mr Pradhan said that the fire had originated from Bhareng, which is located at high-altitude and difficult to access. Yet, the untiring efforts of the people and the area MLA, Mr Subba resulted in putting off the fire, Mr Pradhan informed. The official further informed that a surveillance group has been posted to prevent any further outbreak of fire. Apart from that, patrolling groups will be touring all over the sensitive areas to report any forest fires, he added.

Link to The Statesman Article (end of prev post)

Link to the Statesman Article

Happy Half-Birthday to "The Stick" & Other News

A Link to the Un-Birthday Boy's Recent Outdoor Adventures:

In Other (Outside the Beltway) Panda news:

Even more tangentially Panda-related--Red Panda habitat in India destroyed by wildfire

Sunday, January 08, 2006


This is an interesting article on the "cuteness factor"

can't we all just get along?

From the Taipei Times: (1/8/06 Editorial)

The pair of cuddly panda bears hand-picked by the Chinese government as gifts for Taiwan have become a most effective propaganda tool in the war for hearts and minds.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pandas International

(from December 31, 2005)
From the Loveland, CO Reporter-Herald:

"Pandas International is the only nonprofit group in the world whose sole reason for existence is to promote the survival of these giant, roly-poly animals. Organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund showcase pandas while supporting hundreds of other species."

This article discusses PI and its significant contribution to saving and breeding the endangered giant panda. While we love both giant pandas and Pandas International, we also applaud the efforts of any wildlife organization that strives to conserve, educate, and preserve endangered species and work towards preserving their environments.

From January 5, 2006
From the Main Page of

"News from Wolong is the 6 cubs born in 2004 have been weaned from their mothers and are now at the Wolong Kindergarten. They are learning to get used to their new formula and new environment. This is a very cute age."

To donate to Pandas International: