The youngest member of the San Diego Zoo panda family, Xiao Liwu, experienced snow for the first time this morning as part of an enrichment surprise.
Seven-month-old panda Xiao Liwu, or "Mr. Wu" as keepers call him, woke up to fifteen tons of shaved ice that now blanket the exhibit, according to the zoo.
The young panda climbed all over his
mother and playfully wrestled with her.
"He was definitely enjoying the snow and running around. I've never seen him so wired up," San Diego Zoo Senior Keeper Jennifer Becerra said. "Xiao Liwu was jumping on Mom, wrestling with her and getting used to being thrown in the snow by mama bear."
The zoo uses "enrichment surprises" such as this to keep the animals stimulated, active, and able to show their natural behaviors, according to the zoo.
The 15 tons of snow was generously donated by many who contributed enough funds to the Zoo's online Animal Care Wish List.
The giant pandas are on a research loan from the Peoples Republic of China. The San Diego Zoo also collaborates with the Chinese Academy of Science to study behavior, ecology, genetics and conservation of Foping Nature Reserve wild pandas.
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