Among Pandas: Dong Dong at Panyu Safari World

Filed in Stress Busters

My sister rolled her eyes when I told her that, while in Guangzhou, I’d also gone to the Panyu Safari World to “see” pandas. Well, not any panda, but a particular panda. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if it was that particular panda or just one with the same name.

It was NekoMama7 who’d mentioned there was a panda at Panyu Safari World by the name of Dong Dong who’d originally come from Wolong. The only Dong Dong panda we’ve heard of is the mother of Bai Yun at the San Diego Zoo. Since I was already going to be in Guangzhou, it wouldn’t be too much out of my way to go to Panyu to see if the Dong Dong there is Bai Yun’s mother.

You can say my trip to Panyu Safari World was done on speculation, but in the end, I was well-rewarded for it. The trip not only confirmed that it was the one and the same Dong Dong but also introduced me to the other four giant panda residents of the Giant Panda Garden inside the China Treasure Zone at Panyu Safari World.

Before NekoMama7’s note, I’d never heard of Panyu Safari World, or its giant panda exhibit. I thought Dong Dong was the only giant panda resident there, much like Shi Shi at Guangzhou Zoo. So it was a very pleasant surprise to learn that Panyu is home to five giant pandas, comprising two panda elders who’d been gifts from Wolong, and three younger ones on loan from Wolong.

At 23, Dong Dong is one of the two panda elders at Panyu.

The bio poster next to her enclosure indicated that she was probably Bai Yun’s mother, and this was confirmed by a chat with the interpreter on duty.

Ming Ming, the other panda elder at Panyu, is 30 and female.

Of the three younger pandas – Yang-Guan (male), Xin Yue (female) and Na Na (female), all aged 4 and sharing an “apartment” – Yang-Guan and Xin Yue are twins, having been sired by that stud daddy from Wolong, Pan Pan, who’d also fathered Bai Yun with Dong Dong, which makes Dong Dong the stepmother to these two. What a small world of giant pandas!