By Simon Tomlinson
Fun in the sun: Giant panda Hua Ao lies on his back as he is sprayed with a hose in his enclosure at Yantai Zoo yesterday
At first, he wasn't so sure.
But Hua Ao the giant panda now seems to appreciate the benefits of a good hosing down on a baking hot day.
Last week, Hua Ao found the experience a little too bracing, raising his paw to block the stream of water and at one point losing his footing as he fought to avoid the firing line.
Spray time: The playful appears more relaxed with the water than he did a week ago when he tried fending it off with his paws
Drenched: Hua Ao appeared far more attracted by the water this time around, unlike last week
The panda also tried to hide behind a wooden platform, peeking out to see what's coming his way next.
But yesterday, the playful bear appeared to be having a lot more fun as temperatures at Yantai Zoo in eastern China reached a sweltering 32.3C.
He was pictured this time swinging in and out of the water on the same platform and bounding across the grass as the spray came towards him. His mate, Qing Feng, also joined in the action.
Hose pose: Hua Ao waves to the cameras as his keepers give him a good spraying down
Cooling off: Hua Ao took advantage of his cold shower as temperatures topped 32C at the zoo yesterday
Giant pandas are solitary bears when in the wild, usually preferring their own company when foraging in Chinese bamboo forests.
They are an endangered species, with less than 2,000 thought to be left roaming free in the cool forests that are their natural habitat.
They mostly eat bamboo, but in captivity are also enjoy being fed honey, eggs, fish, yams, leaves, oranges, bananas and other special treats.
Hosing off: Last week, Hua Ao backed off and raises his paws when he was given his cooling soak
Backing away: The giant panda turns its head away as keepers try and keep the animal cool it soaring temperatures
Friday, May 11, 2012
By Simon Tomlinson