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What's Black and White and Cute All Over?
Who doesn’t love a baby? Especially a furry baby with soulful eyes? Throw in the fact that his clan is endangered, and he’s from another country, and his appeal only grows.
Meet baby Po, Zoo Atlanta’s newest addition to its panda posse. Born November 3, 2010, the third offspring for parents Lun Lun and Yang Yang, Po made his grand debut in March. Since then, his baby steps, snacks, naps and playtime have been on display via the zoo’s PandaCam, funded by EarthCam, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
When my family visited Po and his parents in April, we didn’t get to see baby antics, but he did impress this mother with his ability to sleep perched on a tree limb that didn’t look substantial enough to support his black-and-white snowball self. His mom, Lun Lun, was happily munching on bamboo nearby. Of course, she has this mothering stuff down, as Po’s her third child: Mei Lan was born in 2006 and now lives in China, and Xi Lan, born in 2008, still lives in Zoo Atlanta’s acrylic wall-enclosed habitat.
We visited Zoo Atlanta late on a day when it was threatening rain, and – in our rush to meet baby Po and with no crowds stopping us –spent little time in the welcoming pavilion that offers abundant information about the panda’s habitat, needs and the zoo’s conservation efforts (undertaken in conjunction with the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding). Luckily, there was plenty to absorb in the panda house, and we could also snap pictures at a distance of not more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) at times, depending on where Lun Lun had planted herself.
Even leaving was fun, thanks to the clever panda tattoo stations along the exit walkway. My three children adorned themselves with multiple tattoos that miraculously remained intact through a few washings. And they were free!
Yes, Po was named for that Po – the panda of “Kung Fu Panda” movie fame. DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. served an official sponsor of the zoo’s 100 Day Giant Panda Cub Celebration. Actor Jack Black, who voiced Po in both “Kung Fu Panda” movies, was present for the panda’s naming. We didn’t mind that he wasn’t present when we were. Po and her mom were enough.