Friday, December 16, 2005

My Curious George, Tai Shan

Have I always been fascinated with giant pandas? I know that I have always been attracted to animals -- especially those with round, cuddly and fluffy features. What started it was probably a gift from my boyfriend, a panda plush -- seven years later, now I have more than a whole family in many different sizes :) As I learn about these amazing creatures, and now that I have 24-hour access to be indulged in these pandas, I'm very much in love with them.

Tai Shan who is the star of the National Zoo in D.C. keeps me so busy at work. Ever since he learned to walk, Tai has been spending all his waking moments exploring. Every move he makes -- whether falling asleep or falling on his poofy tush -- I can't help myself wanting to reach out and squeeze this silly cub.

What amazes me about his mommy, Mei Xiang, is how diligent she has been. Many times, panda mothers walk away from their newborns because they don't know what to do with this tiny thing the size of a bar of soap squealing its lungs out -- sadly, the cub has to be taken away, or in the worst case like in the wild, it gets left behind.

Considering that fact, Mei Xiang has been a wonderful mom and sometiems makes me think she's much better and more committed to her cub than some human parents are to their own children. On the other hand, Tian Tian -- Tai's papa -- is yet to have any idea that he has become the father of this incredible cub -- he spends his days eating and sleeping like any other day :)

Right at this moment, Tai Shan is waking from his long nap, playing in his den -- hanging between the platform and the object next to it. He spends a lot of time by himself now, but still cuddles and plays (or wrestles) with his mom too. I am as curious as Tai Shan to see where his adventure will take him tomorrow. I shall wait and see!

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