Panda Cub Sees First Snow

December 11, 2011 by staff 

Panda Cub Sees First Snow, There was snow at the San Diego Zoo on Thursday morning. Animal care staff arranged a winter wonderland for two of its pandas, Bai Yun and her two-year-old son, Yun Zi. This is the first time that the young panda had ever seen snow. He came out of his bedroom, tested the snow to see if he could walk on it, and then made his way from one corner of the exhibit to the other.

Zoo horticulture staff constructed a 5-foot holiday tree from two types of bamboo – oldhamii and vivax – that was shaped to resemble a pine tree. They used a large block of ice for the tree stand but it was no match for Yun Zi. He approached the tree, swiftly knocked it over and nibbled the slices of fruit and vegetables that were hung as ornaments.

Yun Zi then climbed up the icy tree stumps in his exhibit and napped above the winter wonderland. His mother, Bai Yun, stuck to her usual habits and sat in the middle of her exhibit munching on her morning bamboo, seeming oblivious to the snow around her.

Guests who are unable to visit the Zoo can still see the pandas live – and now in high definition at – The Zoo just completed an upgrade to its Panda Cam, allowing online visitors to watch the black-and-white beauties more clearly. The four new high-definition cameras provide viewers with several vantage points in the exhibit as well as activity in the den. The Zoo has more than 200,000 online visitors to its Panda Cam each month.

The special snow day comes just days before the Zoo starts its 3rd annual Jungle Bells celebration. Starting Saturday through January 1, 2012, families can put a wild-animal twist on familiar holiday traditions during the Zoo’s 2011 Jungle Bells celebration. The Zoo will stay open until 8 p.m. each night except Dec. 24 – when it will close at 5 p.m. – and guests can expect a flurry of whimsical d?┬ęcor and holiday-themed activities including performances by the acrobatic Jumpin’, Jammin’ Elves and musical trio, Angels with Strings.

The festivities start nightly with a tree-lighting ceremony at the Zoo’s living conservation tree. The entrance to the Zoo is filled with the melodic sounds of an English hand bell choir and throughout the evening there are numerous opportunities to meet wintery animals up close. Jungle Bells is free with paid admission to the San Diego Zoo. Most activities occur in late afternoon and early evening.

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