By Jules Shane
Goodbye to Bai Yun
The zoo is preparing to bid farewell to two of its beloved giant pandas — which have been on loan from China as part of a long-term conservation agreement. Twenty-seven-year-old Bai Yun and her cub, 6-year-old Xiao Liwu, will be returning to their homeland at the end of April. Last year, the zoo began wrapping its agreement with Chinese conservation officials with the return of Gao Gao, Bai Yun’s mate. The repatriation of Bai Yun ends a 25-year-long program, which has yielded a host of information on panda behavior, gestation, birth and life cycles.
“The San Diego Zoo was honored to be chosen by conservationists in China to work with them to develop a new model for species conservation,” said Douglas G. Myers, president/CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. “The panda program we began together demonstrates how powerful these collaborative efforts can be. We are extremely grateful to China for sharing the pandas with us and offering us the chance to serve this species in a leadership role.”
Guests wishing to visit the giant pandas can still do so until April 27. The zoo is planning a farewell party for the pandas slated for some time in April and will release more details as they are available.
Zoo Book Club
Author and advocate Chelsea Clinton will visit the San Diego Zoo on May 23, touring her new children’s book “Don’t Let Them Disappear: Twelve Endangered Species Across the Globe.” Guests will attend a reading of the book by Clinton followed by a Q&A session and book signing.
The book, illustrated by artist Gianna Marino, explores some of the planet’s most iconic and sorely endangered animals, as well as some of the problems that threaten their existence. From whales, to rhinos, to giant pandas and beyond, the book shows children how much these animals have to offer to our world and what can be done to protect them. Inside are tips and ideas that everyone can do to help protect some of these critically endangered species.
The event will take place at the zoo’s Wegeforth Bowl at 10 a.m. General admission is required to attend. Tickets for the reading event start at $28 and include one free copy of the book.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, visit bit.ly/SDZooBooks
Wild Night Out!
Experience the zoo in a more intimate setting, away from the kids and crowds, as the gates open late for a Wild Night Out. This 21-and-up event gives guests an opportunity to wander the zoo grounds after hours, while enjoying special entertainment and perhaps an adult beverage or two.
Live music will be played throughout the park. Additionally, the event will preview the zoo’s upcoming summer Nighttime Zoo activities, including a 20-minute parade along Front Street featuring stunning, handcrafted animal puppets.
This special edition of Wild Night Out is set for June 13 from 6-9:30 p.m. Tickets to attend are $40. Guests must be over 21.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit bit.ly/WildNight21
Nightlife at the zoo
Nighttime Zoo returns this year starting June 17, bringing with it extended hours, special exhibits, and a host of live entertainment throughout the zoo. This year’s theme celebrates the zoo’s newest and largest addition Africa Rocks with dancers, rocking bands and soaring acrobatic performances.
Guests will have the chance to get up close and personal with some of the zoo’s animal ambassadors, as well as their handcrafted puppet counterparts during the “Wild About Animals” show and following procession. And, starting June 28, back for a second year is “Call of the Night,” a 12-minute laser and music show that will light up the night before closing time.
Starting June 17, the zoo will remain open until 8 p.m. Special summer activities get going at 4 p.m. daily. Nighttime Zoo is included with regular admission.
— Jules is the editorial intern at San Diego Community News Network, parent company of San Diego Uptown News. Reach him at email@example.com.