Posts Tagged ‘mei lan’

say goodbye to mei lan this weekend.

i’ve already discussed my feelings on mei lan’s impending departure (although i am sure some of you will be glad to know that this will probably cut down on the number of panda related posts!) suffice it to say i am NOT taking it well.

anyway, it’s all official. mei lan is leaving tuesday. she’ll get to fly on a special fedex panda express plane, which will stop in dc to pick up tai shan (aka butterstick) before heading to chengdu.

the zoo made official the plans in a press release this morning.

this weekend will be the last time to see atlanta’s beauty on exhibit, so get out there. there will also be a special going away party and raffle on saturday between 10 am and 3 pm. along with plenty of entertainment, 500 $25 raffle tickets will be sold with the winner getting a chance to see mei lan leave her enclosure for good.

i’ll be there for sure and will probably try to head over on both saturday and sunday – perk of being a zoo member.

the zoo also has a short “best of mei lan” video up.

it made me cry. seriously.

saying good-bye to atlanta’s beauty.

mei lan chewing on some bamboo

mei lan chewing on some bamboo

i have no catchy headline for this post. i am actually overwhelmingly sad about it. i love zoos, i love pandas and i love atlanta. for all those reasons, seeing atlanta’s first baby panda leave is going to be very difficult for me to take.

mei lan was born on september 6, 2006. i’d been in atlanta for a little over a year and half at the time and the pandas’s arrival also corresponded with my beginning to feel at home here in the south. for that reason i have always had a soft spot for this gorgeous, round cheeked animal.

when her brother xi lan was born, i made the investment in a zoo atlanta membership and i go often to look at these animals. will i love young p, i will confess that mei lan is my favorite. i can sit and watch this girl feed on bamboo for quite a long time.

no official word yet on when she is headed to chengdu where the chinese panda experts feel like she will be excellent at breeding pandas to try to repopulate the world with her, but it’s going to be soon. i’ll be hitting the zoo a lot over the next few weeks to say goodbye.

good bye mei lan

good bye mei lan

stop by if you get a chance and wish her well and a safe journey. she’s been a great, if only temporary, resident of this city. she’ll carry us with her as she goes across the pacific, though. her name, atlanta’s beauty, a testament to the city she called home.

make sure when you go, you look at the goodbye cards that school kids have been sending mei lan. they’re just past the entrance to the panda area in a small wooden inlet.

gonna miss you mei lan.

if we had named that panda p-dizzle would they want him back?

hagin by me

hagin' by me

time’s up…..

for zoo atlanta’s pandas that is. the lease on the giant pandas is up next year and zoo atlanta announced today it needs to raise $500,000 to reach the $2.5 million they need in order to renew the lease with the chinese on lun lun, yang yang and xi lan (mei lan is going back to china no matter what.)

it sucks that zoo atlanta doesn’t have the cash on hand to do this, but you know the drill, economy bad, corporate sponsorships are down, etc. etc. so anyway, the zoo is coming to you and asking for a membership or a donation or whatever you can do. they have set up a web site, give so they can stay, and you can check it out for more info.

i realize there are so many worthy causes hurting for money right now, but pandas, pandas are one of the things that make us big-time, in select company. and they are awesome.

you guys know how much i love these pandas. during the winter when i was going through a rough patch one of the things that got me through the day was pausing for a mintue and watching p-dizzle on the panda cam. i even bought a membership to the zoo so i could walk over there any time and see them. those animals are to me citizens of this city and part of us.

i hate this panda lease game with the chinese, but it is what it is. maybe this is the same kind of blackmail professional sports teams play with cities to get new stadiums, but damn does it work.

i think they are worth trying to keep here.

so who would come to a “keep the pandas here” party if we at the atlanta metblog were to throw one. maybe we could raise a few bucks.

who’s with me?

what’s next, tai chi lan?

i just got a “breaking news alert” from the atlanta journal-constitution that zoo atlanta has named the latest panda cub xi lan, or “atlanta’s joy.” this to complement sister mei lan.

leaving aside for the moment the ajc’s rather loose definition of what consists of breaking news, i have a question. are we required by virtue of contract to have to name these pandas with chinese names?

surely we could do better. maybe something highlighting atlanta’s rich hip-hop tradition, like “young pandizzle.” or “shawty pandah.”

or we could highlight atlanta’s rich sports tradition, maybe “the highlight panda” or “john rocker.”

i’m just sayin’.

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