Posts Tagged ‘Pandas’

Review – Wang Wang and Funi (Adelaide Zoo)

Monday, March 28th, 2011

 

Wang Wang: I am so fluffy because I spend time daily in the Panda Spa.

Wang Wang and Funi are the “loaner” pandas currently residing in the Adelaide Zoo. Wang Wang is a bit of a boofhead and Funi is a bit like a puppy – naps like a champion then plays like the world is ending.

Funi made the cutest noise when she found a carrot. She sat down, holding it, threw back her head and gave herself a little cheer.

Housed in a custom built duel exhibit, Wang Wang and Funi have access to a pond, which I labeled a Panda Spa, and a special chilled rock for when it gets too hot. Each have a protective glassed in area for when the public get a bit much and a large open air area with lots of area for exercise (NB. Panda exercise is walking to the next treat hidden by the keepers). In the glassed in area, the pandas are given “toys” (like a box of sawdust) and bamboo for nibbling – so even if they are behind the glass, they are still putting on a bit of a show for the fans.

Funi looking very pleased with herself while hunting for treats.

Guarantee your spot with Wang Wang and Funi

You should to book to see the pandas. You buy your tickets to the zoo on line, then book your chosen time for the panda enclosure. You may get in without booking (as I got to see them twice), but since it doesn’t cost anything extra to do so, why not? On the day I went, the Clipsal 500 was on and the weather was pouring with rain, then hot and humid, then pouring with rain etc. As such the zoo wasn’t very busy – as such it was lots of pandas (and other great animals) with no waiting. What was even better was that after about 25-30 mins into the last session of the day, everyone left because they were both behind the glass. I was left alone in a giant enclosure with two pandas. Once it was silent, they pandas went out and played. I got so close to Funi as she played, making the funniest noise, before romping around her enclosure. Wang Wang then went exploring in his enclosure looking for more treats.

 

Wang Wang on the prowl for those sweet, sweet rice cakes.

There is limited Panda merch available at the dedicated Panda Shop – I bought a Wang Wang mug, Wang Wang boxers and a Panda Stamp (that prints a panda and a set of panda paws walking across the page). Unfortunately, Funi is drawn way too silly and girly, whereas Wang Wang is just a little anthropomorphised.

Wang Wang taking on his nemesis "Box of Sawdust!"

Pluses:
OMG PANDAS!
Insanely cheap – $28 for a full day’s fun.
Free to book panda time (Other paid events are $130 and $495 for a much closer and personal experience).
Zoo staff (keepers and volunteers) were incredibly helpful and chatty – I got “adopted” by a senior volunteer who was telling me best spots and what to look for.
You can get within inches of the pandas.
You get to see Panda junk.
They are even cuter and fluffier than you can imagine.
Free bus and close to the city.

Minuses:
If they are asleep, they aren’t that exciting and yet still cute.
Some visitors totally ignored the signs and the ropes – so no wonder the pandas stay in the glass when there are lots of people about.
Not a lot of options for food and drink at the zoo.

Wang Wang in the classic Panda Pic

I had a brilliant time and can only say…

#fivepandaseventhoughtherewereonlytwo