“Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo. How about you, you, you?”

For my first post on my fabulous vacation, I’ll share with you the highlights of our trip to the National Zoo.  Besides this being Wade’s first trip to Washington, DC, this was also his first trip to a zoo!  Can you imagine?  I’m glad that his first zoological experience was at this one, because it certainly falls in my top 3 zoos of all time. 

I know that zoos can spark some controversy.  I’d like to go on record: I am in full support of zoos.  Yes, I know that animals are removed for their natural habitat and kept in some much more restricted areas than what they are used to.  However, when it comes to pandas, tigers, eagles, hippos, and all the other amazing animals that are quickly being poached in their homes, I fully support any organization that will do something to help in reversing the problem. 

In the case of the Nat’l Zoo, they work directly with researchers in China to facilitate breeding of the Giant Panda and protection of their dwindling homes.  If two can live in captivity and reverse the dying trend, I think that those steps should be taken.  

The Nat’l Zoo is one of two zoos in our country who have a Giant Panda – they have two, actually and we happened to be there for Tai Shan’s 3rd birthday.  Both Tai Shan & Mei Xiang celebrated by consuming an enormous about of bamboo (they eat approximately 40 lbs. of it a day!).

Mei Xiang hiding in her food.
The birthday boy hanging out on some rocks.
We also had the pleasure of watching a hippo chase a ball bigger than his mouth.  Check out his chompers!
Here are some meerkats that were completely fascinated with this woman’s straw hat!
Moving on, I captured some video of a Sloth Bear.  I honestly have NO idea what he’s doing, however, he did this “dance” for at least 30 minutes.  I’m sure it was longer, but we didn’t wait around to find out.  Any guesses on what this is about?
Finally, towards the end of the afternoon, we made our way to the elephant house.  These are truly beautiful & amazing animals.  They are brilliant and it was so incredible to see them actually have a thought process.  For instance, there bigger of the two elephants kept picking up trunks-full of hay and smacking it against his leg. As he did so, the sand fell out of it.  He would do this multiple times before eating it.  Both elephants would snap their bamboo stalks against their legs in order to break off smaller pieces. 
We spent much time watching the smaller of the two elephants, as she was enthralled with playing with a log.  She kept hitting it, kicking it, moving it around her cage, leaning it against a wall and knocking it over.  Check out her playing here:   

~ by zuzu on July 14, 2008.

8 Responses to ““Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo. How about you, you, you?””

  1. Glad you had a great visit to the National Zoo. Just a correction: There are 4 zoos in the US that have pandas:

    the National Zoo has 3: Mom Mei Xiang, Dad TianTian, and son Tai Shan (maybe one more soon!)
    San Diego has 4: Mom Bai Yun, Dad Gao Gao, and daughters Su Lin and Zhen Zhen
    Atlanta has 3: Mom Lun Lun, Dad, Yang Yang, and daughter Mei Lan
    Memphis has 2: Le Le and Ya Ya

  2. great panda post! thanks so much for writing it. i have always wanted to go to d.c. and the zoo would be a definite stop for me.

  3. Good info from M Athey – my info was based on signs at the zoo, but clearly they haven’t been updated. Good to know the panda population is larger by those few! Thanks!

  4. So cute, I love the hippo!

  5. I think the bear was doing some sort of aerobics. Did you notice if it had an iPod?

  6. It’s all happening at the zoo….love it!

  7. love the title…i thought i was the only one who knew that momma was taking us to the zoo tomorrow! zoo tomorrow. zoo tomorrow!

    we’re taking aidan and erin to roger williams in a couple of weeks. can you believe i’ve never been to a zoo either?

  8. a great find for panda fanatic!
    my roomate LOVE this Morn Creations Bag.

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