My first visit with Feng Yi and her baby

From a distance. She was seated in the far corner and I was just behind my side of the bars.


Up close, thanks to the 24x of my FZ100.


Yes, I was allowed to visit Feng Yi and her baby at the new breeding centre. This historic (to me) first visit happened between 2:00 and 2:08 p.m. on Tuesday, 10 September 2013. A short visit with the promise of more to come.

Unlike other new panda mothers who might react to visitors, Feng Yi continued to sit calmly with her cub cradled in her right arm and even to give me a nice smile for the close-up. I’d like to think it’s because she knows me enough to let me as close as I’m allowed. And with her positive response, I think I will be allowed to continue visiting every day during this trip. In fact, I visited them first thing after arriving at the base this morning, and again in the afternoon. This, I think, will be the routine for the next two weeks.

At the time of the visit, baby was 23 days old and will be a full month on 18 September. Apart from a 24-hour separation soon after baby was born to let the new mummy recover, they have never been apart. As for the baby’s sex, according to keeper Zhang who was Feng Yi’s first Bifengxia keeper in Guilin, the baby’s a boy … er, wait, girl, yes, girl. I say let’s wait for the official announcement.