The cubs turn 1 today, and it has been quite a year. Mei Huan, formerly known as Cub B, was born two minutes after her sister and was quite the surprise! You can see (and hear) us react to the birth in my office (the only other place at the Zoo where we have access to panda feed) http://archive.11alive.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=2547545852001.
Birth watch can sometimes be a very long day of work, and with the Ramones playing in the office, may have led to a new fun illustration.
From day one, Zoo veterinarians, keepers and our Chinese colleague from Chengdu started working a 24-hour shift where they swapped the cubs out with mom during the cubs’ first months. Not enough can be said about how awesome they all are at their jobs. For a few months, we thought the girls were fellas. It turned out to be good news that they were in fact, little girls (females are more valuable for the species), although that meant we had to stop using their very silly nicknames – Jesus and Juan.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Cub B. Maybe it’s because I am called “B” in my family, or because B seemed to be the one noted as “gregarious” or the “troublemaker” by her keepers. She also happened to be the cub that was photo-ready when I was called upon for photog duties.
I was lucky enough to go back to the cubs’ den a few times to help with photography. Yes, I may have geeked out a bit. Today you’ll see my big head again on the birthday Hangout, where I will try to wrangle in my inherent dorkiness.