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In Love With Giant Pandas

/ Post by Karen Wille via Pandas International

Tai Shan was born on July 9th, 2005.  When he was born, he came shooting out into the world and into a wall. At that moment I thought, “This panda is going to be something special,”  and he is. From the first time I got to see his beautiful, dark, sparkling eyes, I fell in love with him and was already in love with his Mom and Dad. As Tai grew, my love for him grew as well and so did my love for Giant Pandas. As I watched Tai grow from a baby panda to a cubbie, I wanted to know everything about these magnificent bears. I learned about how critically endangered they are and how much help they need.  At the same time I watched Tai week after week, looking into his beautiful, sparkling, curious, innocent, playful eyes so full of wonder and for those moments when we made eye contact, everything in the world seemed alright and all the pain and heart ache seemed to go away. These times were magical and I continue to treasure them and hold them in my heart. This perfect black and white ball of fur was teaching me so much about life and didn’t even know it. So what could I give back?

The more Tai gave to me, the more I wanted to give to Tai, his parents, and all Giant Pandas. I wanted to help them in any way I could and I just loved them more and more – especially Tai. I learned about Pandas International and how volunteering and donating could help their dedicated efforts towards the conservation and preservation of Giant Pandas. And when Tai Shan was sent to China and I could not imagine not being able to visit him anymore, I found that I could travel to China to visit him and expand the ways in which I could help support PI’s Giant Panda efforts. Who knew that by falling in love with this precious little Giant Panda Cub named Tai that I would not only learn much about life, but also find ways to deal with very painful events and support Giant Pandas, a critically endangered species. Tai Shan is an International Ambassador for Giant Pandas, a Rock Star, and a magical Giant Panda who has helped so many with so much.  I love you Tai, with all my heart.