Hua Mei lives
at the World Famous San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California. She was
born on August. 21, 1999 and became the first giant panda born in the
Western Hemisphere since 1990. She weighed only 4-5 ounces at birth,
about the length of the palm of a human hand, and looked more like a
rat than a giant panda.
Besides nursing from her mother, Bai Yun, Hua Mei would regularly
consume up to 15 pounds of bamboo a day. By her second birthday, and
not yet fully grown, Hua Mei weighed in at nearly 150 pounds.
Hua Mei's mother, Bai Yun lived with her for the first year and a half.
Since Pandas do not live in families like the way humans do, Hua Mei
and Bai Yun needed to prepare for the separation they would soon make.
So in February 2001, the bears began to prepare for the big separation.
Over a three week period, each Panda learned to live without the other,
as they would in the wild. Each day they spent less and less time
together. This is not a painful process for either one of them. They
do not feel sad they way people do when they are apart from their
families. Today, they are still living in the same zoo, but in
You can visit Hua Mei and Bai Yun at the San Diego Zoo or visit
live video of the Pandas from the newly renovated Pacific Bell Giant
Panda Research Station.
Check back soon to learn about Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, the Panda
couple living at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in