Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Beijing Zoo: Panda-monium

Really, he's back there, chomping bamboo at the back of this football-arena-sized pen (and me without a zoom lens). At the Beijing Zoo and in the countryside, zoologists are having good luck restoring the numbers of this endangered species.

A tricky task, because - like adolescents in the innocent days before the Internet and Cinemax - pandas have some difficulty figuring out the logistics of sex. Specially made "panda porn" has been produced to address the issue, with mixed results. (boom chicka-chicka boom, whomp whomp)

Before we could visit the other animals, we were shuttled off to the bus to our next stop. "The condition of the rest of the zoo shocks Westerners," one of my fellow tour-mates whispered. She was the one who demanded to know the provenance of every meat product that crossed our plates, yet dove into the Peking duck without question - this at the height of avian flu season.

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