What is on your bucket list? Do you have something in particular on your list that you get really, really excited about and hope the day comes sooner than later to be able to accomplish it? Well that day came for Owen and me when we went to Zoo Atlanta, in Atlanta, Georgia. The whole zoo is a very nice zoo, with lots to do and many animals to see, but we were there for only one reason.
I have adored pandas forever. I used to have quite the panda collection as a kid and have ALWAYS wanted to see one. Owen has loved pandas as long as we can remember; he rates them as his favorite animal and he has ambitions to work with and help pandas in his future.
There are only four cities in the United States that are home to giant pandas and we were going to drive right through one of them on our route to Florida. Atlanta here we come!
Zoo Atlanta has three pandas: Lun Lun, Mei Lun and Mei Huan. Lun Lun is the mom of Mei Lun and Mei Huan, twins that just turned three on July 15, 2016. We saw two of the beautiful black and white mammals while visiting. There was no way to tell for sure which panda was which, but I am confident we “met” Lun Lun. She was big and fluffy and so very sweet. The entire time we were there watching, she sat with her back against the window, peeling and eating bamboo. When we stopped back later, she had moved about six feet forward, but was still sitting with her back to the crowd eating away at more bamboo. We also saw one of the twins; we never figured out which one though. She actually wasn’t eating, which was surprising because pandas eat about 12 hours a day. She looked like she was looking for someone to play with. We didn’t get to see her walk around or climb; she just kept looking around. Finally, she decided to flop down on her belly and, I can only presume, wait for her sister to come play.
Everyone enjoyed seeing the pandas. It was a fantastic experience. Next time, I want to participate in the behind-the-scenes Daily Wild Encounter, where you get to meet and feed one of the pandas. For now though, we have some really awesome pictures to remember our visit and, of course, some cool souvenirs.
Zoo Atlanta has a lot of other things to do and other amazing animals to see. We were able to watch an orangutan busy at work on her computer. We were able to pet and comb goats and of course we had to say “Hi” to the giraffes and gorillas. The Sun Bear lived up to his name, as he was surely soaking up some sun. (Although he gets his name from the golden patch of fur on his chest.)
If you have a membership to another zoo or aquarium, you may be able to receive admission to Zoo Atlanta (and others zoos and aquariums) at a discounted price. I decided to purchase a one year membership for another site that was closer to us and then we only had to pay half price for admission to Zoo Atlanta. So we can visit the closer site as often as we want, and with the discount towards Zoo Atlanta, I actually ended up paying less for everything than just paying for a day at Zoo Atlanta. (Win-win for you!) Check reciprocity here.
Love pandas as much as we do? Here is a cute panda mask to make.
We’ve even started a Pinterest board all about pandas!
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