Friday, August 5, 2011

Pandas at the Nordic Ark

I got a request from a Youtube viewer about pictures of the red pandas at the Ark. I've posted some from previous years, but this year the animals are new. The Ark's previous panda, a female who had produced several cubs there, had gotten too old to breed last year when we were there, and they were getting ready to put her out to pasture, so to speak ... she was going to be sent to another European zoo, I don't remember which one, that doesn't participate in the breeding program so she could live out her last years in peace and quiet.

Earlier this year, in late spring/early summer, two new pandas arrived to begin their lives together at the Ark. They are still young, but hopefully they will get along well and will produce new cubs in their new home. Like the giant panda, the red panda is a difficult species to breed in captivity, and not all zoos manage it ... but the Ark have been successful 13 times in the past, so I for one have every confidence that they will manage it again with these two. The male came from somewhere in Finland, and the female came from Chester Zoo in the UK.

This is where my fellow Youtuber comes into the picture. She is apparently mad about red pandas and she lives close to Chester Zoo, so she visits there often and has seen the female panda - her name is Lily - many times. You can see some wonderful footage on her Youtube channel, here. She was interested in seeing pictures of Lily in her new home and wondered if I could help. Yees ... well, yes and no.

I do have some pictures of the panda enclosure from this year's visit, but not really any good ones. Last weekend was very hot in that part of Sweden - like 27 in the shade - so the pandas were, like most of the other animals, very lethargic and quiet. They kept to the shadowy treetops. I got some shots, but I think my correspondent will be disappointed, I'm sorry to say. I can't even tell which of them is Lily. She seems to have unusually pale facial markings, so if we had seen them up close we'd probably have been able to tell. But as it is, well ... You take a look.

Spot the panda ... :-)

Tanumine, Anne Ida, KAS: Do you have any better pictures? I know I probably had the best camera, but you spent a little more time at the panda enclosure than me, so ... maybe? I remember that someone showed me a couple of shots where at least one of the animals' faces was very clearly visible. Can you post those somewhere - whichever one of you has them :-) - so our panda fan can see? :-)

And seriously: Next time we will have to go sometime a little later in the year.


Anne Ida said...

Hi, I uploaded what I think is my best panda pic to my blog this morning. I'll bring my SD card tonight and you can have a look at the others :-)

KAS said...

I took a total of 132 pictures... Only have 2 panda pics and they aren't very good. I plan on getting you guys' pictures :-)

Tanumine said...

Sorry, not many good shots from me this year. You only see half her/his face.