Friday, February 20, 2009

Taipei Zoo

To stave off the underemployment blues, I took a solo fieldtrip into the city.
I felt a little lame by myself at the ticketing kiosk amidst a throng of families and grandmas pushing strollers. But I forgot my lameness as quick as I got inside: Taipei Zoo was by far the best zoo I've ever been to.

For more than four hours I took pictures of animals, some I didn't even know existed before today. Here are the highlights:
How do they stand like that?
From Taipei Zoo

I don't know if that's Yuan Yuan or Tuan Tuan, but my grandchildren will probably never have occasion to take a picture of a panda - so I was sure to snap it. Frankly, I don't understand how any species that routinely smothers its newborns made it this far.

Pandas were the biggest exhibit. They're new, a gift from China. The former president rejected them in 2005, but President Ma said yes. "Tuan" means round. I don't know what "Yuan" means. But when you put the two words together they mean "reunion." The People's Republic is crafty like that. This spurred some clever pro-independence panda photoshops, captions like: "I gave up my national sovereignty and all I got were these lousy pandas."

From Taipei Zoo

This immediately came to mind when I passed this guy.
Malayan Tapir
A bongo!
From Taipei Zoo
giraffe-necked weevil
A friend from home!


TCL said...

Taken literally both tuan and yuan mean round or circle. But together they do mean reunion. Perhaps the Greek idea that the circle is the perfect shape?

But why are they giant pandas? Are there mini pandas? Silly things in my head at 2am.

Leslie said...

Hey, thanks - I was wondering.

Yeah, I was wondering that too - about giant pandas.

And actually there was also a "lesser panda" at the zoo, but a lesser panda is actually this really beautiful red fox-like animal. Who knew?

Easy peasey lemon squeezy said...

Looks like you had fun!

Did you get to watch any people? I usually end up just looking at people when I go to the zoo. haha

love ezra

ps. Do you know how to track traffic on your site?