Look! Pandas!

This past Saturday, a friend and I took a trip to the Beijing Zoo. I had forgotten how much I enjoy being close to the animals. I always find the shift in perspective refreshing; thinking about the uncomplicated life of creatures who don’t spend every waking hour memorizing Hanzi or reading for classes. On the other hand, you can’t avoid equally wondering about and sympathizing with their life of captivity, public spectacle and daily torment. Zoos inspire much to think about and in that respect, the Beijing Zoo did not disappoint.

I can’t quite say, however, whether the animals or the people on the free side of the glass walls were more interesting to watch.

A panda ate her bamboo.
A section of the zoo had a huge wall of Chinese students’ artwork. The blocks were made before the Olympics, but after China’s horrific earthquake in 2008 so many of the messages alluded to these events.
The monkeys looked down at us while people threw food up at them.
One of many monkey cages
These 2 male wolfs were sprinting back and forth and howling at a nearby female wolf. They drew a large crowd.

Elephane statue

My friend and I wandered to a man-made lake on which there was a small island full of exotic birds. A line of nature photographers stood near the water bird-watching. As my friend and I approached, one of the photographers turned to look at us and next thing we knew the photographers were taking pictures of us!

That’s all for now. If you have a question or comment about pandas, Beijing or zoos in general please comment!


1 thought on “Look! Pandas!”

  1. Nice entry. The zoos in China have really changed over the past 10 years or so: they used to feature small “unfurnished” cages with concrete floors and iron bars in which the animals would simply pace back and forth catatonically. The Olympics and economic prosperity must have provided the impetus to design.

    Are the pandas as popular in Beijing as they are in the US?

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