Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bored? Go See The Pandas Before It's Too Late!

Children, families, out-of-towners and a now-engaged couple ventured to the National Zoo during Saturday's "mini blizzard" to say goodbye to the giant panda, Tai Shan, according to the Washington Post. Although Tai Shan, known as the zoo's "giant panda rock star," was born at the zoo in 2005, he is actually property of China and will return Thursday to become part of a Chinese breeding program. Because giant pandas are endangered, this program was created to increase the amount of giant pandas in the world.

Photo Credit: Ann Heisenfelt/ AP Photo

Tai Shan was originally due to return to China when he was two but "was granted two extensions." Tai Shan's parents are on a 10-year lease which ends in December, but National Zoo officials are appealing to China to allow them to stay and not leave DC without pandas. The zoo held an official goodbye celebration, but it was unfortunately cut short due to the inclement weather.

While at GW, I've learned how much there is to see and do in the city, and unfortunately not many students, including myself have taken advantage of what's around. In case the zoo's 10 year lease does end, DC will become panda-less. Don't waste your weekends and free time! Go visit the National Zoo in Adams Morgan and see the giant pandas sometime this semester.

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