We took our granddaughter to the Atlanta Zoo on a cold and blustery day (37 degrees). Why? Because Leslie and Caden had behind the scene passes with the pandas. Poor Don had to stay out in the cold, finally seeking warmth in a restaurant. He got some great pictures of the pandas while he was out and also learned a fun fact that he has been sharing with everyone – pandas poop an average of 45 times a day. Most of the animals were not out due to the weather, but the red panda was. Don also got pictures of Lun Lun when she came out. She just had cubs in September. The cubs were not on display because they cannot walk yet. Leslie might have died from the cuteness if she would have gotten to see them.
Leslie and Caden learned a lot too. The tour consisted of about 30 minutes of education and getting ready (lab coat, washing shoes and shoe covers and gloves) and 30 minutes with Yang Yang. The pandas are trained (although they are never forced) to go to cages so they can interact with the trainers. They check their health everyday. Yang Yang was taken through a training routine which included putting his eyes, ear and mouth up to the cage for examination. He also pulls him self up to the cage when the say “chest” so they can listen to his heart. He was very cute and very funny. The highlight was getting to feed him a couple of his favorite biscuits.