Monday, May 24, 2010

Kung Fu Panda

When we discussed what we wanted to see in China, pandas were pretty close to the top of the list, so Missy and I decided to cut out a half-day of shopping in Shanghai in favor of a trip to the zoo (Lee and Bennet concurred). We lucked out too--thanks to the expo, the zoo had 10 or so adolescent pandas on loan in addition to their adult pandas, plus about half the cast of the movie Kung Fu Panda.

So there we are at the entrance of the zoo. This is actually a full arch but the elephants were so big that we were a little too close to get the whole thing to show up in one picture. Just trust me when I say it was big and neat-looking. Of course, once we got inside the zoo, the first thing we wanted to do is book it towards the pandas since we didn't have a whole lot of time to explore. The first panda we saw was this one:

Yes, he's a panda. A red panda (or a lesser panda). You know, like the master kung fu dude on the movie (yes, everything I know about China I learned from the movies, most of which are Jackie Chan, so I'm relieved that no one tried any kung fu on us since it seems like everyone in the movies is constantly getting into elaborately choreographed fights. But I digress.)

Hey look, it's a panda!! Mom asked how close we were to the pandas, and the answer is that this zoo was a lot like the one in Sapporo. Basically it was us, some Plexiglass, and then the pandas, so depending on how close they were to the window you could be all of six inches away from one. Mostly I think they were maybe five to ten feet away or so.

The group of people watching the pandas wasn't so huge that it was a problem to get some good pictures, and Lee managed to finagle the camera settings to get some really good shots. Most of the pandas were just lying around eating or sleeping (both of which sound like a really good way to spend the day in my opinion).

Lee got five or six shots a lot like this. I took several on the little camera, but once he got the settings right on the big camera, it took a lot better shots.

So here's Lee and me with the panda...not 100% happy with how this picture turned out. I was hoping for a really fantastic shot to send in to Eskimo Joe's.

Maybe three or four of the pandas weren't eating or sleeping, they were practicing their kung fu:

And climbing skills:

We took a lot more pictures of the pandas, but that's a pretty representative sample of what we got. After the pandas, we walked around to several of the animals that were close to that area.

Oh look, the lion sleeps tonight.

Hey, I'm laughing, even if you aren't.

This tiger statue kind of reminds me of the tigress in Kung Fu Panda, you know the one voiced by Angelina Jolie? What do you think?

The tigers were quite a bit more active than those lazy lions. Missy said that Jessica, our tour guide, narrated the interaction between the two tigers in hysterically funny fashion ("Boy tiger says he wants to do something, but girl tiger says she has a headache and wants to sleep. So he's mad at her and says she always has a headache...")

Then they got in a fight. (I took this picture with the small camera, which is why the color isn't as good and saturated as the rest of the shots. Lee MISSED getting a shot of the tigers fighting!!)

Then they kissed and made up. Awwww, snuggly stripes.

By this time, our tour guide was starting to hustle us out of the zoo...seriously, we could have spent a full day here, but we did have one more stop to make before the end of the day. So we started on our way out, but on the way we stopped to see the bears.

That group of people on the left were feeding the bear so that's why he was standing up and giving them his undivided attention.

But I think that the bear feeders got a bit nervous when we all showed up since you're not supposed to feed the bears, so they moseyed off. But we still got some good bear pictures.

And here's Bennet and Missy on the way out of the zoo.


Amber said...

Oooo, fabbulous pictures!!!! Those panda's are SO CUTE! I only want to go to China to see Panda's, other than that I'm completely content to live vicariously through you:D That one picture of the Panda's fighting you can see teeth! They play rough!

CCsMom said...

Cute, and I like the way you ended the post. Glad you had such a great time. Now it's time for me to go to work. I'm gong to be late.

CCsMom said...

Kik, several of my friends say they are reading your blog . . . just not leaving comments. So more than you know are tuning in. Love you this Thursday morning (as EVERY morning)! Mom P.S. Ha, ha! The "word verification" I'm to write below today is "pandi". Kind of appropriate.

Lee said...