Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mei Lan--Atlanta's Beauty

The girls received their report cards on Friday and that is the day that I found out that the panda cub was allowed out for visitor viewing at the zoo. Miranda wanted to go ice skating, but it wasn't much work to have her trade her ice skating trip for a trip to Atlanta to see the new baby panda.

We knew we weren't guaranteed to see the panda, but I was hoping. We woke up at 5 am in order to be there by 9 for a member's only view.....well. Things didn't go quite as planned and we didn't make it until regular viewing. The mommy panda was scared early that morning from all of the flash of cameras when she brought the baby out (before we arrived) and wasn't coming back out with the cub. We waited patiently for quite some time, and decided to leave the zoo.

We went to CNN and took the tour. That was a lot of fun. I convinced Dave and McKenzie to let me take Miranda back to the zoo one last time before we left Atlanta.

Miranda and I waited patiently in the packed little enclosure, trying to be as quiet as could be so that mommy panda would bring the baby out. It was fun to watch the video in the den behind the visitor viewing. She was "mopping" the floor with the baby by pulling her by the neck and legs, kind of like a mommy kitty. We waited and waited. She finally came out and saw all of the people through the glass and immediately turned and took the cub back to her den. We got a two second glance, and I didn't think that I got a picture, but I did!!!!! It isn't very good, but this is all we saw of the little fur ball. But we did see her!
It's hard to tell that it is a panda cub. The cub is facing the mom. You can see the black little ears to the left and the reddish color is the nape of her neck where mommy bites her and carriers her. It is the staining of her fur from the vitamin biscuits that mom eats.

This is the second click of the camera. One when she started to come out and the second as she turned quickly to leave!