As I mentioned in the description of yesterday's "Photo of the Day," when I visited the National Zoo I wanted to make sure I got there especially early, and this Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) cub is part of the reason. Any exhibit that holds a giant panda, especially a baby one, is going to get swamped by visitors so I wanted to make sure I had a chance to get some decent shots (although I didn't know that the pandas would not be let out until 10 AM so I had a bit of waiting to do). This particular individual is a 2 year old male named Tai Shan, the offspring of Mei Xiang (the mother) and Tian Tian (his father), and one of the many pandas that have been successfully born in captivity.
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Great photo. I frequently visit the San Diego Zoo and they have also been blessed with two panda cubs over the past couple of years. They also have a six-week-old baby bonobo who is the cutest darn thing I've ever seen.
A lovely picture of my favorite animal!
Thanks for all the excellent pictures of the animals. Great to see you on ScienceBlogs!
What a beautiful picture!! I have never had the opportunity to see a Giant Panda in person. Thank you for sharing the photo!
Thanks for the compliments, everyone! I'm glad that you all are enjoying the photos (I definitely enjoy taking them). In fact, this Panda picture has gotten such a positive response that I'll post another tomorrow, and when I'm able to get back to the National Zoo I'll definitely take some more (although I don't know when I'll be visiting again now that autumn is setting in).
Butterstick! (aka tai shan)
Someone in China entered a panda exhibit very recently and was bitten badly on the legs by the same panda that had been bitten by a human visitor who had tried to hug the bear earlier. Panda bears are not teddy bears, no matter how cute they look.