Pandas I have seen previously: 2 (Ying Ying & Le Le)
Pandas I will see next: 6 (Xing Xing, Liang Liang, Kai Kai, Jia Jia, Wang Wang & Funi)
That will take my tally to 8/49 of the Pandas living outside of China – and perhaps 0.4% of all Pandas in existence (based on middle estimates of Panda population).
Giant Panda & Why I like them…
“Pandas, mate why are you so fascinated by Pandas?” I get asked this all the time (well ok I’ve been asked once), and I thought I’d explain.
I was born in 1975, by the time the early 1980’s rolled around I was old enough to watch and understand the documentaries on the fate of Pandas in the wild. At the time Pandas in captivity wasn’t really a “done thing” and in the wild they were “rare”. The WWF (Not the Wrestling mob) had kicked conservation efforts in gear and raised the profile of the Panda and so this young impressionable kid in Sawtell/Toormina thought he’d never see a live Panda, ever.
For me the ability to see a real live Panda (even if in captivity) represents in one tiny way just how life can change, and just how things we thought we’d never do/see can still happen.
The Pandas for me also serve as a reminder to take the opportunity to do things when the opportunity arises, to do while I can, not complain when I can no longer.
So yes that’s the Panda story.
Giant Panda I have seen:
2012 – Ocean Park Hong Kong. I’m fairly sure I trekked the whole park but I only recall seeing two Panda despite there being supposedly 4 in the Park. I will have to check the pictures more carefully to ensure I’m not missing any!