Pandas Tai Shan and Mei XiangThis
one is for SWMBO. She spent hours watching these
via the Internet. Or perhaps I should say she watched the youngster’s parents before the
birth. We even watched a recent documentary on the effort by the zoo to
mate the parents. After a couple of years of no pregnancy,  it
came down to artificial insemination. According to the documentary, it
is not hard to understand why these animals are so rare when you
realize the females are in estrus once a year, for about 15-minutes.
Add to that a young male who simply doesn’t know what to do or when to
do it and you end up with an estimated 1,500 of these creatures left in
the world.

As an aside, the documentary showed the
birth of the baby and speculated on how the fact that the baby came
shooting out and hit what appeared to be a hollow tile wall perhaps
actually helped the baby (sort of like slapping the newborn on the
behind to get him or her to start crying and breathe). It’s not clear
to me that that was, in fact, a GoodThing, but I will leave it to the


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