On the day in question, each of the three big cats had been given a large hunk of meat to chew on. Ena ate hers for a while, then began to stalk her offspring – either for fun or to get their food, too, I’m not really sure.
There have been countless new and beautiful babies born in and around the Zoo since then – and in other Zoos and locations, too. But, to my mind, the most beautiful of all were born last of all when Ena, another first-time mom, gave birth on May 18, 2017 during a month-long strike at the Toronto Zoo.
It then became a matter of waiting as long as I could to get a shot with the most snow possible on Da Mao before he inevitably yawned or stretched or shifted or moved in any way that would disturb this perfect “Still Life with Panda.”
I did learn a few more interesting tidbits while researching the chamois for this post. First of all, I confirmed that pronouncing it “sham-wah” is the most correct, but saying “shammy” as in the cleaning cloth which used to be made from the hide of this animal is acceptable as well. “Sham-wow”, on the other hand, is not acceptable, as that is an “As Seen on TV” cleaning product from Germany, and “you know the Germans always make good stuff” according to Headset Vince.
Panpan was not buying what Er Shun was selling. He kept wriggling and squealing while she tried to contain him and force him onto a nipple to absolutely no avail. After a couple of minutes of this, Er Shun – with Panpan in her arms, upside-down, facing away from her (in other words, the worst possible nursing position), with a huge grin on his face – looked straight into my eyes and let out a huge sigh as if to say, “Kids, amirite?” Then she dropped him on his head again.
[Jamarcus] was a precocious young lad from the very beginning and always seemed to be in view. In fact, he was almost too precocious because I needed him to be farther away from the fence to be able to blur it out, whereas he often came over to see the people whenever anyone was stopping by. It was pretty difficult to be frustrated with anything that cute and that close by.
Ena is a snow leopard at the Toronto Zoo who is my first “featured animal” from my 2017 “Chillin’ with Animals” calendar.