I had the privilege to bring my kids to an influencer breakfast on saturday at the Calgary zoo. We were directed to enter the grounds and make our way to their on site restaurant, Grazers, where a buffet breakfast was provided for guests. It was delicious! My children went back for 2nds. Actually, that’s not completely true. The two younger kids went back for seconds. My eldest went back to the buffet tables more than that. I believe he went back for thirds. If he wasn’t so embarrased, I’m pretty sure he would have gone back for another serving. The zoo’s catering team always does an amazing job with the food, which is made in house and locally sourced. The Zoo has a certified LEEDS kitchen and theyuse as much of the food in as many ways as they can. Minimal waste is created and recycling is highly encouraged.
What an experience! The Giant Pandas, or Panda Bear, or simply just, Pandas, are original to China. They are not found anywhere else in the world. Pandas are also known as the oldest species of bears, dating back to ancient china like the Komodo Dragon and the Saber Tooth Tiger. They can eat anywhere up to 90 lbs or bamboo on average a day. Their digestive system cannot digest the bamboo too well, since they were originally carnivores. Their system has not quite adapted to their leafy diet. They sleep 10-16 hours a day and poop up to 40 times a day. All while look absolutely adorable.
The Pandas at the Calgary Zoo flew here in April from Toronto. They are part of the conservation program in Calgary, much like the other native wildlife that we host at the zoo that is exlusive to our habitat. The adult Pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao will be here for give years, while Jia Pan Pan & Jia Yue Yue will be here for a year before going home to China.
After breakfast and a quick educational and safety review, we were guided down to the Panda Passage. Waiting in front of the Moon Gate, which is a gateway that we walk through to control the flux of visitors to the exhibit, was enticing. The exhibit is well designed, and highly worth the wait. You will see influences of Chinese architecture; lanters, natural use of metal and wood, bamboo-like designs. A zen place to walk through before entering the Panda quarters. The same building also houses the komodo dragons, which is pretty cool. I tried to take a picture of the dragons, but I’m not sure I got it. It takes a while for me to find the reptiles sometimes. They hide in their habitat really well – at least I think so.
The Pandas were adorable! Calgary, it was well worth the wait. On that note, don’t forget that we have our own Canadian super furry super fun adorable animals as well. Always make a point to visit the Canadian Wilds when you go to the zoo. The Zoo does an amazing job with Canadian wildlife in terms of conservation and sustainability and research. It’s also a great opportunity for you to see the animals that are in our natural backyard – but from a very safe distance. I mean, I love to see bears and wolves and foxes up close, but I don’t want to be their dinner.
Fun fact: China is developing a Panda Route in Chengdu that will allow visitors and tourists to see everything Pandas.1 It was announced last year that they will be opening up a convservation park three times the size of Yellowstone National Park that will host pandas with the intention to preserve the species and protect them. How amazing is that!
- Source: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2098468/china-build-worlds-first-panda-themed-tourist-route
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