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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ailuropoda melanoleuca

Since the end of 2008 the Taipei Zoo has two giant pandas and they have become the Zoo's main attractions. The pandas are housed in a new building designed specifically for them. To see the pandas requires a separate time-entry ticket and some time waiting in line.

Our family went to the Zoo last weekend and I finally saw pandas for the first time. The pandas did not disappoint and were exactly the way I imagined them to be. What was a bit unfortunate was due to the large number of visitors, people were not allowed to stop and look at the pandas. All the visitors were forced to move incessantly along the rope lines. Therefore, the actual time spent looking at the pandas was very little. Visitors were also discouraged to take photographs because that would slow the movement of the line. Nevertheless the trip was still worthwhile because the pandas were just too adorable.

I wish the mandarin speaking world can agree on what to call the pandas. Panda is called 熊貓 in China but 貓熊 in Taiwan. To eliminate the confusion, maybe panda should just go by the scientific name of Ailuropoda melanoleuca.

1 comment:

  1. I am used to call them 熊貓, but really 貓熊 probably makes more sense because they really look more like 熊 than 貓。