donderdag 24 mei 2018

OUWEHANDS ZOO & The Animals Gerry Winogrand Photography

It is exactly one year ago today that the giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen were welcomed to the Netherlands to huge media attention from the Dutch and international press. In the past year, everything at Ouwehands Zoo has centred on the giant pandas. It has been a successful year with many special moments.

Looking back on 'panda year' 2017
After more than a month in quarantine, the two giant pandas were allowed to go outside for the first time at the end of May At the same time, Pandasia was officially opened to a great deal of attention from the invited guests. To mark the pandas' arrival, Ouwehands Zoo and the World Wide Fund for Nature organised a Panda Gala in June. A fantastic amount of €470,888.88 was raised for the protection of giant pandas in the wild. In this way, Ouwehands Zoo is making an important contribution to nature conservation, one of its primary objectives. In August, the fourth birthday of the two pandas was celebrated in style. Among other things, Xing Ya and Wu Wen were treated to a special birthday cake. Throughout the year, the pandas have received various treats to mark special occasions, such as a stuffed autumn pumpkin, a gingerbread man made of panda cake, a colourful Christmas tree with edible decorations... each of these items has been on the pandas' menu this year. In December there was heavy snowfall and the zoo was transformed into a winter wonderland. Everyone, including the giant pandas, had a lot of fun in the snow.

The world's best giant panda accommodation
In early 2018, Ouwehands Zoo won a special award. During the Giant Panda Global Awards, Pandasia was voted the best accommodation for giant pandas in the world.

What have the pandas done for Ouwehands Zoo?
In 2017, Ouwehands Zoo attracted a record of 1,055,000 visitors. In addition, since the arrival of the giant pandas, the zoo has seen its revenues rise substantially.

An exciting time
The recent period has been an exciting one, with the giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen being 'officially' introduced to one another. They had previously seen each other for the first time from behind screens and been given the opportunity to see, hear and smell each other from close up. Xing Ya and Wu Wen were visibly and audibly interested in one another. This contact was recently repeated without it resulting in mating. It transpired out that both animals were still too young.

So we must await next year, when Wu Wen will again be fertile. A female panda is only fertile for 3 to 7 days per year, which makes reproduction in giant pandas complicated.

Garry Winogrand: The Animals
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Essay by John Szarkowski.
Winogrand's zoo, even if true, is a grotesquery. It is a surreal Disneyland where unlikely human beings and jaded careerist animals stare at each other through bars, exhibiting bad manners and a mutual failure to recognize their own ludicrous predicaments.
--John Szarkowski

The Animals is a classic photo book by the incessant, masterful photographer Garry Winogrand, reissued in a new edition by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, which first published the book in 1968. In it, Winogrand leaves the streets of the city for the caged aisles of the real urban jungle, the zoo, where he captures some of the more humiliating and strange moments in the lives of God's creatures. See a lion stick its tongue out between chain-link fencing, an orangutan pee into another's mouth, a hippo give a great big yawn, two lions lamely going at it, and seals watching lovers kiss.

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