Double Panda Happiness
In 2003, the San Diego Zoo received a double helping of giant panda happiness. Elderly panda statesman Shi Shi had returned to China, but the Zoo was fortunate to receive another male: Gao Gao (above). He had never bred before and was a bit smaller than most males, but he didn’t see that as a deterrent. He and Bai Yun had a successful natural mating, and on August 19, 2003 a second cub arrived, a male named Mei Sheng (left), meaning “born in the U.S.A.” He seemed to take after his father, being a bit on the small side, showing the input of those genes. Mei Sheng was a little more clingy with his mom than Hua Mei had been, but he also had a goofy side. He had a habit of hanging upside down from tree limbs and swinging, and guests loved to watch his antics.