Posts filed under News

Hot off the Press: Precious Panda Births

Filed in News, Stress Busters

Hua Mei, the giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo in 1999 and returned to China in 2003, has given birth to her third set of twins in Wolong, China. This is really hot off the press as the announcement is dated Monday, 16 July 2007, 11:32 a.m.

News item here, with pictures.

From the news item, one of the cubs born earlier this morning:

She had her first pair in 2004, and her second pair in 2005, and was then given a year off last year. Her eldest son, Hua Ling, was chosen to be part of a gift pair from China to Taiwan, but the gift is currently in limbo as the Taiwanese Government has refused the gift, calling it propaganda, especially as the pair has been renamed Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, from the phrase “tuan yuan” meaning “reunion” , which is taken as a hint that China wants Taiwan to accept that it is a part of the mother country, and not separate and independent by itself.

Internet fame

Filed in News

I was mentioned in the Los Angeles Times in an article about viewing animal web cams.

A while back, I received an email from Claudia Zequeira, an LA Times reporter, asking if I’d agree to be interviewed (via email) about watching giant pandas on web cams. Of course, I agree, lah!

The article was published on 6 September 2005. Here’s my part of the article:

But because the lighting is often kept low to avoid disturbing the animals, some creatures look like furry blobs. On the panda cams, the round black ears are sometimes the only clues indicating the head.

None of the limitations matter to Chet Chin, an avid panda viewer who logs on in Malaysia. “I don’t really care what the image looks like,” Chin said in an e-mail. “I enjoy the experience of watching their lives. Especially when there’s a mother and her cub.”

The San Diego pandas so captivated Chin that she visited the zoo in 2001 just to see Hua Mei, the then-2-year-old female Chin had monitored since birth.

Full article here.

Claudia is now with the Orlando Sentinel. Thanks, Claudia.

After all these years

Filed in News, Stress Busters


The National Zoo in Washington, DC has FINALLY been gifted with a baby giant panda. Mei Xiang, the female giant panda there gave birth to a cub at 3:41 a.m. on 9 July.

I wouldn’t have known if Donna hadn’t emailed to let me know, and if the subject line of her email hadn’t said “BABY PANDA!”

From what I know, panda babies usually aren’t born till mid August onwards (well, this is based on San Diego Zoo’s Mama Bai Yun’s two babies so far, both born around that time). So Mei Xiang’s baby cub is a REALLY special one.

I went to the National Zoo’s giant panda site and was greeted with the news. Here’s an extract from the page:

Full story here:
Giant Pandas – National Zoo FONZ

The National Zoo was the first American zoo to have giant pandas – a pair presented in the early 1970s to commemorate President Nixon’s visit to China. At a dinner sometime during the visit, Nixon’s wife was sitting with Premier Chou En Lai. On the table was a cigarette tin with a picture of a giant panda. Mrs Nixon remarked how much she liked the black and white animal, and Premier Chou then arranged for a pair to be presented to her.

The two National Zoo pandas, Hsing Hsing and Ling Ling, soon became the darlings of Washington, DC. Their lives were closely followed, especially their mating attempts, the resulting pregnancies and births, and national mourning when none of the cubs survived. Ling Ling died in the early 1990s, and Hsing Hsing in 1999. A year to the day of his death, a group of representatives from the Zoo were in Wolong Centre, China, to take delivery of two new giant pandas, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang.

After their arrival, there were a few attempts at mating, and pseudo pregnancies, but now, more than 30 years since their first pair of giant pandas, the National Zoo finally has its own first giant panda cub.

And Mei Xiang is now Mama Mei Xiang.

Ouch …

Filed in Health, News

This is why I’ve yet to sign a donor card:

Transplant patients die from rodent virus

Dunno what I’ve exposed my body to all these years, and wouldn’t want to pass it on to anyone.

Good news for one couple on Valentine’s Day 2005

Filed in News

“Baby 81″ has been identified and his parents found, thanks to DNA testing.

Complete story here:
Joy as ‘Baby 81′ identified