Fences: Good for People and Pandas

What do you think about the new Asia Trails section of the National Zoo, the $53 million renovation of nearly six acres that doubles the zoo’s three panda’s exhibits?

Have you had a chance to see panda cub Tai Shan? Or what about the Red Pandas or Fishing Cats? Better yet, the elusive clouded leopards?

I’ve checked out the Asia Trail developments on my weekly runs through the Zoo and recently, one angle caught my eye. Look at this photo for a moment. What seems odd to you?

Might it be a little weird to see such security for a Zoo animal? Might the pandas be a little distractive or at least superstar status with such fencing, security cameras, and overall inaccessibility. It’s not like the prairie dogs or Bengal tigers have such a human contact barrier.

6 Comments so far

  1. b (unregistered) on April 14th, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

    Wow! It’s obviously been a while since I’ve made it to the Zoo. Maybe after our final snow storm of April 2007 – sigh-

  2. John (unregistered) on April 14th, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

    There are probably insurance factors at work.

  3. sa-ra (unregistered) on April 14th, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

    otters are a cool gang there when awake they line up and run and swim around non-stop.

    well, they had to spend all of the mlns. i wish they have allocated a part of it to large mammals – it was like carl at the giant experience to go see elephants and ‘begemotiki’ . i do not know if you just have to accept the nature that way and forget about smell intolerance or is it indeed a lack of cleaning personnell problem… the zoo is very cool.

  4. David (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 10:00 am

    In security parlance, if you look at the direction of there the barbwire toppers are, they are angled in rather than away from the public path, which is to keep them from climbing out rather than us climbing in.

    Also, I think the fences are designed to make it feel like a bamboo forest…walk, walk, walk, clearing.. wham.. there are pandas… that of course is JMHO.

  5. Eva (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 12:36 pm

    The fence is higher for the pandas because they are much larger than the red pandas, which are housed on the left in the picture. The pandas can stand up and climb the fence surface. When you walk along the path through the exhibits, there are actually several big glass windows that visitors can actually see the panda cub. Also, the cameras, I believe, are for recording the animals behavior, so the keepers can gather and document the data for all the research they are doing. Moreover, the cams are also feeding live videos for the viewers around the world.

  6. Alice (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

    Will be visiting the zoo on Wednesday- 18th.
    Can’t wait to see the Atlanta Beauty and mom. also hoping for warmer temps.

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