Monday, March 25, 2013


Things are about to get a little crazy at the Toronto Zoo.  Two new panda bears arrived today from China, a male and female.  They'll be in Toronto for the next 5 years and then Calgary for the 5 years after that.  They were delivered by Fedex and greeted by our Prime Minister - you can read the full story here.  They'll be in quarantine for the next 30 days and then accepting visitors on or about May 1st.

The last time we had pandas here was more than 20 years ago.  I know I went to see them then, although I don't remember the lineups people are talking about today.  I remember they were sleeping for a long time and that wasn't very exciting and then they woke up and they were everything you wanted them to be - fascinating to watch as they tumbled about together and chewed on bamboo.  I know there are many who advocate that zoos are bad and it's wrong to lock animals up in cages for public amusement but I believe there are benefits too, such as exposing people to wildlife that they wouldn't otherwise ever see live in their lifetimes and protecting endangered species.  Yes, maybe there are better ways to do it but for now, this is what we've got.

Knowing how much I had enjoyed them, my dad gave me this print by Canadian artist Michael Dumas print at some point after that:

I shall have to schedule a visit to see these two new guests at some point (although maybe not right away, the zoo is expecting a huge increase in visitors as a result of their arrival). It has been a long time since I've been to the Toronto Zoo, I'm long overdue for a visit.

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