Sunday, April 30, 2006

I guess he missed the sign?

I guess he missed the sign?
Originally uploaded by somesai.

I've been visiting Tai and Mei often as the zoo is staying opened later so I went after work on Thurs. and Friday. I also went this weekend. Today Mei's been acting a bit strange. It hink someone spiked her boo. She was chasing after Tai and wrestling with him. She climbs the tree and hangs upside down to reach him.

Tai has been sleeping on different trees. I also was lucky and saw Tai nursing on the rocks. He tends to be "clingy" when he wants to nurse and Mei usually is in sleep mode. In this photo, he is trying to wake up his mommy for some nursing.

Now a days, the keepers tend to have a hard time picking up the Tai. They tried to lure him in with a boo stick. He would follow them and then sit down and face in the opposite direction of coming in. He kept doing this as if he knew it was time to go in.

Tai is now 48 pounds or could be more last time I heard. I also heard one of the volunteer saying that we might be able to keep him. Reasons being that he's related to most of the pandas back in woolong and not a good canidate for mating. There are 11 male cubs there already. At two years old, he would be another baby to feed. Well, he's not just another baby, he's our baby, hehe! He's too young to be mate of course.
I say just ship over his ummm "stuff" when time comes and artificially inseminate or send him Jing Jing.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Thailand Knows How to Treat Its Guests

Reprinted from Yahoo News Page


Tue Apr 25, 11:51 AM ET
BANGKOK (AFP) - A Thai zoo is hoping to build a "snow house" for its two giant pandas where they can escape the tropical heat to play in a room full of artificial snow.

Chiang Mai zoo, in northern Thailand, had asked the government for 50 million baht (1.3 million dollars) to build the panda play pen, project manager Prasertsak Buntragulpoontawee said, adding that if approved it should be open by the end of 2008.

The zoo wanted to create an environment similar to the panda's native habitat in southwest China, where the endangered animal lives in bamboo forest and snowy mountains, he said. Pandas apparently enjoy playing in snow.

It never snows in tropical Thailand. Even during the cool season from December to January, temperatures in Chiang Mai hover around 10 degrees (50 degrees Fahrenheit).

The pandas -- Chuang Chuang, 5, and his companion Lin Hui, 4 -- arrived in Chiang Mai in 2003 on a 10-year loan from China.

Friday, April 28, 2006

China releases Panda Into Wild

China on Friday released a panda bred in captivity into the wild for the first time, and the animal scampered into a nearby bamboo forest where he will be monitored via satellite.

Xiang Xiang, a 4-year-old male raised at the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in Sichuan province, was trained for almost three years to survive in the wild, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

News photos showed dozens of people smiling and clapping behind a waist-high fence as two men lifted the door of a small cage with metal bars and the panda wandered out. Police with riot gear stood guard, "in case it ran wild," Xinhua said.

"When the door of its cage opened ... Xiang Xiang hesitated for a second, then walked slowly for a few steps and eventually ran into a bamboo forest" about 30 feet away, Xinhua said.

It is the first time a panda raised in captivity has been released in China, Xinhua said. Xiang Xiang will be tracked by a global positioning device attached to his collar.

The 176-pound bear was chosen because he is "very strong and healthy," Xinhua said. He has been given a number of inoculations and a full physical checkup, it said.

Employees who answered the telephone at the Wolong center on Friday all said they were too busy or did not have permission to answer questions from reporters.

Xiang Xiang, whose name means auspicious, has learned how to build a den, forage for food and mark his territory, experts at Wolong have said. He has also developed defensive skills like howling and biting.

His training began in 2003 in a 215,000-square-foot open-air facility and he was later transferred to an area 10 times the size to simulate a natural habitat.

Zhang Hemin, director of the Wolong center, said the bear was released now because his favorite food, bamboo shoots, are sprouting, making it easier for him to survive.

There are only about 1,600 wild pandas in the mountain forests of central China _ the only place in the world they are found _ and more than 180 live in captivity.

Pandas are threatened by loss of habitat, poaching and a low reproduction rate. Females in the wild typically have a cub once every two to three years.

Experts from the World Wildlife Fund have said that preserving panda habitats are critical for the animal's continued survival.

Xiang Xiang's release marks "a significant change" in the way the endangered species are saved, by training the pandas to live in the wild before releasing them, Zhao Xuemin, deputy head of China's State Forestry Administration, was cited as saying by Xinhua.

Liu Bin, 28, Xiang Xiang's keeper, said he had tears in his eyes while seeing the panda off.

"Xiang Xiang is just like my child who has grown up and will leave the family to live a life independently," Liu was quoted as saying. "I hate to part with Xiang Xiang but I hope it can survive on its own and will not forget me."

© Copyright 2006 CSC Holdings, Inc.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dreams are free

Dreams are free
Originally uploaded by somesai.

April 26, 2006

I stopped by afterwork and caught him on a sleeved tree in the back. It was almost time for butter to come down. I ended up going to the panda cafe to take photos behind the fence.

I heard he climbed three trees today. Nicole was trying to coaxs him down with a stick of bamboo. It did catch his attention but not enough to come down just yet.

She laid the bamboo on the tree so he can be lured down while she cleans the enclosure. She comes back again for the luring. Butterstick looks as if he is coming down and turns back up again. Finally our boy climb down near enough to grab the bamboo.

He didn't seem to want to go inside but Nicole grabbed our big boy down. He sure was not helping her and probably wanted to stay outside just a little bit more.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tai exclusive photos

These photos were taken on rainy April 22 and too blurry because of the weather. I won't be uploading them to flickr but are too funny not to show. I'll be putting more of my non-flickrs photos here as an exclusive.

A little bit of everything

A little bit of everything
Originally uploaded by justDM.

Thank you justDM for this photo. Stick certainly has both a sweet and a mischievous side!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pleaseeeeeeeee, pretty pleasee, please with a boo on top, pretty pleasee

Pleaseeeeeeeee, pretty pleasee, please with a boo on top, pretty pleasee
Originally uploaded by somesai.

Visit - April 23, 2006

This has to be my absolute favorite photo of Tai Shan that I've taken. His face and eyes speaks of adorableness, determination, and patience. This photo and incident sums up Tai. Our baby has a personality that is unforgettable.

At first Tai did not make notice of the fruitsicle. Mei no doubt found the grand prize. It was a huge block and she licked and enjoyed it. Slowly our fruitsicle warrior Tai approaches Mei and goes in for the dive. She allowed him to share it at first as it was big enough for two. Afterawhile she picked it up and pushed Tai away.

Tai does not give up. He moves to the other side and continues with determination. He fought off her feet and tried a new approach. He started to bite on her paws. No matter what obstacle he faced, he was strong will and had his way at the end. The fruitsicle at one point broke off to pieces so the fruitsicle war was temporarily over. The fruitsicle struggle took place in the afternoon.

After awhile, Tai found new adventures. His tub was upside down and he played with it and it rolled down by his "apartment" fence. Now he is all set. He has quite a collection down at the fence. No mommies allowed there though!

This was a very active day for Tai and Mei. Mei climbed up the back tree and tai followed. Mei fell off the tree and broke a branch and yelled out loud. Tai was calmed and still up in the tree.

She also umm rubbed her tosh on the tree today and scent mark the back wall.

Tian on the other hand, dipped into the water, spent some quality time on a high tree and ate bamboos.

What an eventful day.

April 22, 2006, Rainy Day
This was a rainy morning. Today Tai climbed on the unsleeved tree in the back and was acting very adorable as usual. Mei also climbed the same tree. She's been going wild. A couples of times, I saw her looking for Tian through the mesh.

During mid morning, Teresa, the zookeeper came out to the audience area and threw a fruitsicle inside the enclosure. She called out Mei's name and of course Mei responsed to the fruitsicle toss.

Tai was stuck inside the big metal sleeve and managed to get out. Once he was out he came to the where Mei was below the rocks. To my surprised he didn't fight her for the fruitsicle. He has his back against the audience. As it turns out later, he had his own piece all this time! So that was why he wasn't fighting for it. After the fruitsicle, he started to eat the piece of paper and was entertained for quite awhile.

This has been a very eventful weekend in the butterworld!

Animal Keeper @ National Zoo?

Oh, if I were only 30 years younger and just starting out in life - knowing what I know now. . . . .

Organization: Smithsonian Institution National Zoological Park Animal Nutrition Department Location: Washington, DC Date: Apr 19, 2006

The incumbent receives work assignments and training to prepare for participation in the creation of an overall environment for collection animals, which ensures the health and welfare of the specimens and provides an enriching and memorable experience for the visiting public; performs a variety of duties under close supervision to develop skills that ensure the proper care, feeding, exhibition, and propagation of a collection of wild and exotic animals, many of which are rare and endangered; responsible for the daily care and feeding of assigned animals; performs duties involved in the receipt, inspection, storage, inventory, preparation, and issuance of food and dietary supplements, forage, and bedding materials; receives, inspects and stores feeds; unloads and stores food supplies; under close supervision, prepare animals’ diets. This position is a Federal appointment, WG-5001-5/7 ($14.97/$17.74 per hour, Promotion Potential to WG-9), and applicants must be U.S. citizens. Application must be received no later than May 5, 2006.

Full posting can be found here: (does anyone know what WG-9 is?)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

tree basket

tree basket, originally uploaded by squarerootofcute.

So much for protective sleeves. Score is now Keepers 0, Butterstick at least 3.

Friday, April 21, 2006

We need to go to the movies!

Giant Pandas: An Epic Tale at the National Zoo

by the Staff of the National Zoological Park

Found this interesting article tonight. I don't know when it was published, but its worth a read. . Lot's of other good stuff there, too.
Here's a excerpt:
"Ling-Ling's death in 1992 and Hsing-Hsing's in 1999 had a remarkable impact on children and adults in the United States and abroad. It seems that millions of people around the globe had followed the story of these two lovable pandas. Newspaper and television stories appeared in hundreds of cities. Thousands of cards, letters, drawings, mementos, and e-mails poured in to the Zoo offering sympathy and support for the pandas' caretakers. Flowers piled up in front of Hsing-Hsing's empty enclosure. The public reaction to their loss was (and continues to be in Hsing-Hsing's case) extraordinary.
What is it about a singular animal, the giant panda, which should cause such a reaction? "

Here's the link:

Beautiful Artwork from JustDM

I'm HRH's Babe
Originally uploaded by justDM.

Yipeeeee! My turn now :P
Originally uploaded by justDM.

Spot me!
Originally uploaded by justDM.

My SD life story
Originally uploaded by justDM.

Originally uploaded by justDM.

Just in case anyone hasn't seen these lovely photos from JustDM, please visit her set:

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cave Butter

Mei checking up on her baby

Butter seems to enjoy being carried
Originally uploaded by somesai.

April 20, 2006

I went after work for half hour to see Tai. It's always pot luck of whether I get to see him or not. I caught a glimpse of him in the cave playing around as I approached the enclosure.

He immediately fell asleep in the cave with belly flat on the group. He looked so adorable and this was the first time I saw him sleeping here. It's like his little home away from home (the fence, the tree). He's always coming up with surprises.

Mei kept pacing around and coming down to give her butter a sweet hug. He woke up a little and fell back to sleep. She came down a couple of times to check up on him and paced around again until they let her inside.

Brian came out and asked us if he was down in the cave. He then cleaned up the enclosure. At 5, he went down to tap on butter and butter was shocked. He jumped a bit as he was probably in a deep sleep. Brian picked him up and carried him out. He also placed butter on the grass but butter just doesn't seem to want to move.Our prince then was carried inside. Although it was only 1/2 hour, it was truly wonderful seeing him.

Do we meet in Dreams

Do we meet in Dreams, originally uploaded by squarerootofcute.

Su Lin and Tai Shan at the end of a hard day's work.

Tai finds new busy work

A new game for tai, originally uploaded by squarerootofcute.

Summer days are s-o-o-o boring.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Originally uploaded by Murmurmel.

Stick is very much his mommy's little baby. Thank you Murmumel for this adorable shot.

Butter is everywhere! Thank you Nekomama7 for this photo.
Stick at Times Square

Action in the panda yard

What a busy day our Tai is having!

Tai: "It's ...
... mine!"
Mei: "Whose?"

A new toy!

Lounging around
Worn out

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Woo hoo!

Woo hoo!
Originally uploaded by NekoMama7.

This got me laughing..must blog this. Her expression is priceless. Thanks Nekomama7 for this!

Monday, April 17, 2006


And you thought he was speedy on all four paws.

Today SUPERPANDA! Tai Shan Butterstick demonstrated the latest in panda yard mobility when he took his new SUPERPANDAMOBILE! for a spin around the bamboo groves.

To keep Momma Mei Xiang from getting all honked at him he agreed to wear a helmet, but with "modifications" to allow his SUPERPANDA! ears to stick through. (This way he can hear a leafeater biscuit being dropped from long distances.)

The SUPERPANDAMOBILE! also features a fruitsicle cooler, satellite radio (set to the Panda Channel), GPS so the keepers can track him, and a remote video camera so his fans can view his adventures in real time.

So next time you hear what sounds like construction noise when you watch the pandacam remember this: it's NOT a chainsaw you hear, it's a certain SUPERPANDA! doing wheelies over by the elephant house.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Fall Pandaball Times cover

Fall Pandaball Times cover
Originally uploaded by loves_taishan.

Visit, April 16, 2006

Thanks Holly for this cover. Today I arrived at 7:30 AM. Tai had an active day today. The weather was warmer so Tai went to get a drink from his bucket several times. He even sent marked the aclove and a log.

I often see him back up into his mom as she's eating bamboo with his butt first. It looks like he's scent marking. I'm not sure what this behavior means?

Lisa Stevens was also in the crowd today observing our butterstick. I asked her if Tai recognizes people. She said right now since there isn't food motivation, he doesn't recognize one person from another. I've just sent her email with the video links and panda group.

Lisa also played with Butter for a bit and at one point, it look as though she is checking as if it's a medical examination. He sure loves to play with her pants cuff but not his soccer ball. She also mention that there will be an animal planet special for Butter's birthday.

Brian also had some play time with Butter. He's butter's only male keeper and influence since daddy is over the fence. His interaction with butter is different as they rough play. Butter seems to love it! Brian was trying to move him out of the way so he can get work done but our butter is one determine little big cub!

What a fun day and all is well in the butterworld.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Painting Easter Eggs

Painting Easter Eggs
Originally uploaded by yahlen.

Happy Easter everyone. Thank you Yalen for this very colorful creative photo!

Mommy! Look at me!

Everyone's child....
Mei just can't seem to get a moment alone to enjoy her bamboo today.
Stick wants to carry mommy so she doesn't have to walk but Mom wants to be alone.
Let me carry you mommy..I'm a big boy now
Stick is pushing mommy along while she is trying to escape to another corner.
Push..push...*breath* ...push..push..faint
He found her and gave her more pushes
More pushes
Superpanda pushes mommy off the log
Superpanda pushes 240 pounds off the log!
I think he's not behind me anymore.
following Mei
Finally, a moment alone
Hi Mommy, it's me again..did you miss me?

Mommy! Look at me
Originally uploaded by somesai.

Visit April 15, 2006>Someone must of spiked Tai's milk today because he was like an energizer panda bear running after mommy. She kept trying to eat her bamboo in peace and switching areas but funny boy keeps after her. He jumped on her back and even pulled her tail. She was not interest in playing with him and only wanted peace and bamboo. She went to the back and her little shadow was behind her. She also sat at the branch in the back and he did an upside down famous flip and kept trying to reach for her. She paid him no mind. Later she went to the back behind the brushes and he ran after her. She must of swatted him as he ran so fast back up his favorite tree. You can see him breathing hard on the tree. He only stayed for a bit until he return back down and continued to follow mommy. He even tumbled down the hill a couple of times and got distracted by the tree with a double branch. He tried to climb pass the sleeve but no luck. Tai continuted to chase mommy until he was tired and went back up on his favorite tree. Tian meanwhile had a dip in his pool. He also laid next to it trying to get a tan. Mei was scent marking in the back a couple of times. Tai also sent marked a tree. I left in the afternoon as the crowds were getting larger. The best viewing time is probably early in the morning at 7AM. They did ask us to move to another area as the Fuji contributor came to visit. They stayed for 45 minutes. If I had a check for $10,000 than I probably can have my 45 minutes too of private time, haha!

PS Elise it was a pleasure meeting you today! My allergies got so bad so I'm trying to recover indoor.

Is half a bear better than none?

OR: more cub than tub

Anyone else know that awful feeling