05 October 2009

The Panda Fanatic Goes Ape

Those of you who know me well know that I have passions other than knitting. Pandas is one of those. I love pandas. Our local pair, Lun Lun and Yang Yang, do not look alike to me. I can often tell the difference between them in photographs. I haven't spent enough time around Mei Lan or Xi Lan, but they're good cubs, too.

If you live in Atlanta, then you may have heard talk about the zoo's latest fundraising effort. Cuddly Hubby and I already gave, rather generously, back in the summer. I'm almost sorry we did then, because now the zoo is running a charity auction. So I've been over on that site today, looking at all the great panda-fanatic goodies that I'd be bidding on if we hadn't already given. They include:
a photo diary of Mei Lan
commemorative silk embroidery
commemorative banners
a behind the scenes tour for four
Xi Lan paw prints
a tower of chocolaty goodies

And there are some things that just warm your heart. Two children -- local? I don't know -- have taken the time to create a pretty good origami mother and cub panda pair.

Or an only-in-Atlanta item, commemorative Coca-Cola bottles. If you live here, the connection of Coca-Cola to anything Atlanta makes sense.

There are also numerous packages of tickets to various Atlanta attractions. Hey, if you're going to visit them anyway, might as well make your money count twice.

And there are zoo-specific special items, like Keeper for a Day packages; animal encounters with elephants, giraffes, or rhinoceros; or elephant art. (I'd be more interested in the elephant paintings were it not that I already have some ZooAtlanta animal art in my living room. Thanks, Onyx!) I can tell you from my docent experiences, the behind-the-scenes encounters with the animals are great experiences.

As time moves us towards the end of 2009, we also move towards the traditional giving season. The auction is open until 31 October. If you like having pandas in Atlanta, I hope you'll be able to contribute at least a little to the effort to keep Lun Lun and Yang Yang here for another five years. After all, these wonderful first ten years have gone by all too quickly.

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