connecting with giant pandas

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    Come closer, please! I took this picture of my son at the panda exhibit at Washington DC's national zoo. He is leaning against the glass in the exhibit and we were rewarded almost immediately by Mei Xiang walking towards us.

    At the new Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat, two new yards feature several enriching features for both animal and visitor enjoyment and add more than 12,000 square feet to the pandas' outdoor exhibit. Additions to the indoor exhibit include a new room with a rocky outcrop and waterfall, another den, and more visitor viewing space and informational exhibits.

    from Smithsonian Web Site
    nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GiantPandas/PandaExhibit/defau...

    Experience Asia Trail with an online and audio tour from Fujilfilm.

    The creation of this state-of-the-art research facility and habitat is made possible in part by Fujifilm, who donated $7.8 million to the Zoo's giant panda program, the single largest sponsorship ever provided to the Zoo.

    Many sustainable design strategies, such as planted “green†roofs to reduce stormwater runoff, were incorporated into the new habitat. Other elements include a solar hot water system; natural tree-resin bound paving material, instead of petroleum-based asphalt, on the visitor paths; recycled rubber; sustainably harvested ipe wood, which is naturally resistant to pests and rot; and dried bamboo, because it is rapidly renewable resource and does not deplete the environment when harvested. more Asia Trail green elements

    Outdoor Exhibit
    The pandas' state-of-the-art Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat is designed to mimic the pandas' natural habitat of rocky, lush terrain in China. Each element has a purpose—from helping the pandas stay cool in hot weather to giving them a place to hide when they need privacy. There are rock and tree structures perfect for climbing; grottoes, pools, and streams for keeping cool; and shrubs and trees, including weeping willows, corktrees, and maples, and several species of bamboo.

    Water-cooled grotto has cold-water pipes in the walls that provide a cool respite.
    Low trees and shrubs provide shade and cover.
    Fog grove creates a misty retreat from the heat.
    Pools and streams offer refreshing dips on hot days.
    Rocks and fallen trees allow for climbing and exercise.
    Visitors can enjoy two levels from which to view the pandas, several areas where they may be just inches away from the bears, separated only by glass, and the new Clint Fields Conservation Plaza, where they can learn more about efforts to save pandas and their habitat through the stories of real people here and in China. At the Plaza's Decision Stations, people can get a sense of the complexity of conservation choices by watching videos about wildlife-people dilemmas and deciding which actions to take. Other features at the Plaza include a topographic map of the mountains of central China and exhibits about alternative economic activities to reduce habitat destruction. Portraits of villagers, scientists, park rangers, and others, with the real tools of their conservation work, will be highlighted. Multimedia displays of photos, video, and audio will give visitors a sense of place, introducing them to the sights and sounds of China's wilds.

    As seen in Wired:
    www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/08/seeing-animals/

    squarerootofcute, TimeShifter, and 19 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. TimeShifter 81 months ago | reply

      Now there's a picture, that really speaks to the purity of what loving the Giant Panda is all about. It's not about you! It's not about me! It's all about the Magic, that the Pandas bring to so many people's lives. I remind myself of that fact often, it has served me well. Wish I could see the wonderment in his eyes. Thanks

      fwootie

      Please add this photo to Fruitsicle Award Choice Thread because your photo is "mmm mmmm good" like a fwootie. Please be sure to add the tag "fcawinner".

    2. squarerootofcute 81 months ago | reply

      You said it, TimeShifter!!! This is truly a magical picture. The position of the boy's hand is exquisite.

    3. marcia4tai 81 months ago | reply

      what a wonderful picture! I agree TimeShifter - well said! it is the Magic of it all!

    4. zhakora 81 months ago | reply

      Wonderful.

    5. pandawestie 81 months ago | reply

      Well said Time Shifter.......great photo!!!

    6. Cowtools 81 months ago | reply

      Great capture of the moment!

      I've heard that some animal rights advocates claim that zoos should be abolished, since people can learn about wildlife through documentaries. This picture refultes that argument without a word - this kid's excitement & absorption could only come from first-hand experience.

    7. Thushan S. Withana-Gamage 81 months ago | reply

      Wow excellent thinking & capture my friend


      You are definitely a Nature Watcher!
      Please add this photo to http://www.flickr.com/groups/naturewatching/
      and tag your photo "Nature Watcher"

      Congratulations! You're eligible for PHOTO CONTESTS

      --
      Seen in the interestingness archives. (?)

    8. Tai.Shar 81 months ago | reply

      This is fantastic...I'd love to see that little boy's face...wonderful photo.

    9. bian_coniglioE'stannca di ql che si duplicano... [deleted] 81 months ago | reply

      fantastic....compliments
      +

    10. JNW2007 79 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Animals & Kids, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.

    11. JNW06 74 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Youth Nature Watch, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.

    12. melcir.meri 64 months ago | reply

      Protect the planet! -- Be inspired for Earth!! ~ In March '09, be at Copenhagen's "Climate Change Conference”. -- Peak Oil v. Solar power & planting vital Trees -- Denmark's former Climate & Energy Minister, Ms. Connie Hedegaard will host the upcoming UN Climate Summit.

      GREEN GECKO SUSTAINABLE PLANET AWARD

      fingers










      .

      Spread the Earthcare Action! vision: "EARTHCARE ... EARTHCARE ... everywhere!!!"
      Be carbon neutral at home and work. ~ Go Solar, etc.
      Clear waterways! Restore green habitat. ~ Plant trees!!
      Help those in distress, or un-nurtured. ~ Love one another.
      You are invited ~ join if you wish ~ to exhibit in "***Volunteers in Earthcare ACTIONS!! ~ 'FIRST-THE EARTH!' Photo-ART " group

      HAPPY & GREEN '09, YEAR OF SUSTAINABLE ECO-ACTION FOR EARTH!!!

    13. The Natural Capital 56 months ago | reply

      Nice shot, and thanks for putting it in the Creative Commons -- I've used it to illustrate a blog post on kids and nature:

      thenaturalcapital.blogspot.com/2009/08/attachment-to-natu...

    14. trekaroo 53 months ago | reply

      your photo rocks! we have selected it for use on *trekaroo*, the definitive travel source for parents by parents. your photo will be displayed and credited to your flickr username. check it out and share your opinion on the *national zoo*.

      thanks for sharing and happy travels with your kids!

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