Pandamania Coming To Town
The following item appeared in the December 4, 2005 edition of the Washington Post:
Tai Shan Set for Public ViewingTai Shan is the cutest thing ever! Nearly every day, we here in the Washinton area get to see his antics on television. We ooh and aah and say, "I don't want to give him back." After all, he was born here. Doesn't natural birthright make Tai Shan an American citizen?
"The National Zoo's giant panda cub, Tai Shan, goes on public view Thursday for those who have obtained tickets to the Panda House via the zoo's Web site. More than 40,000 free, timed-entry tickets have been made available through Jan. 8.
"More than 13,000 tickets have been distributed to the general public. An additional 27,000 tickets have been offered to members of Friends of the National Zoo, a zoo support organization. Several thousand of those are available, FONZ said, and will be offered again to members next week.
"A limited number of same-day tickets will be available for zoo visitors.
"Members of the public who have tickets will have to show identification that matches the name on the ticket. Zoo officials said they are doing this to discourage selling of the tickets for profit and to guard against ticket duplication.
"'We urge panda fans to wait for additional free tickets to become available rather than spending money on what is intended to be a free ticket,' FONZ spokesman Matt Olear said in a statement. 'As Tai Shan matures and becomes more active and independent, not only will we extend viewing hours, but members of the public will likely have an even greater opportunity to see the cub.'"
Washingtonians are suckers for panda stories. After all, Tai Shan is the first panda born at the National Zoo to survive more than just a short time.
For pictures of Tai Shan, go here to click on each week on the left sidebar. Each week also has information to read in the text in the center of each week's window.