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Monday, May 7, 2012

Playing it cool: Giant panda gets a soaking in sweltering temperatures

-Hua Ao got defensive as his keepers at a Chinese zoo try and cool him down in 30c heat
-The rare bears usually live in cool forests and have thick fur so need help to stop over-heating

By Lawrence Conway

Feeling the heat: Male giant panda Hua Ao being sprayed down with in water to help cool down at Yantai Zoo in China

When it's a hot, sunny and you are really feeling the heat there is nothing better than a cooling shower.

But this giant panda at Yantai Zoo in eastern China seems to be finding attempts to cool him down a little too bracing.

Keepers at the zoo decided to spray down giant male panda Hua Ao with a hose as temperatures in the town hit 30c.

Hosing off: Hua Ao backs off and raises his paws as keepers give him a cooling soak in his enclosure

But Hua Ao found their attempts a little too direct, raising his paws to block the cool water and backing away.

At one point the giant panda, with its famous black and white fur, lost its footing as it attempted to get out of the firing line.

The gorgeous bear can be seen falling into a barrel roll as it decides staying dry is better than cooling down.

The panda also takes to a wooden platform, peeking out from behind a post to see what's coming his way next.

Hose: Hua Ao takes a tumble as he attempts to escape his keepers attempts to cool him down

Backing away: The giant panda turns its head away as keepers try and keep the animal cool it soaring temperatures

Wary: The giant panda know's he needs to cool down, but he'd rather take it at his own pace and tries to use a wooden pole to deflect a cooling water hose

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.

Look: Giant panda Hua Ao flashes his big black fur ringed eyes to see where the next jet of water is coming from

Shake a leg: Giant panda Hua Ao gets a soaking at Yantai Zoo



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