Rolling good times in the snow for Toronto's panda

Straits Times Animal Antics

The winter storm may have caused chaos and misery for millions of Americans, but Da Mao the giant panda is obviously enjoying a good frolick in the powdery soft snow.

The resident male bear at the Toronto Zoo was caught on security cameras on Nov 17 tumbling downslope and then doing it all over again for the fun of it. It also packed some snowballs to chew on.

The zoo posted the footage of what it calls "bear-bogganing" to YouTube and it has since clocked more than 300,000 views.


Da Mao appears to relish the wintery weather. According to The Star, the zoo last year posted several videos of the giant panda playing in the snow. Mammal curator Maria Franke said told the newspaper that the Canadian city gets more snow than what pandas are used to.

Said Ms Franke: "He makes his own luge track, his own toboggan hill... He should be in the Olympics.”

Da Mao and its female companion, Er Shun, arrived at the Toronto Zoo in March 2013. The giant pandas are on loan to Canadian zoos under a long-term conservation partnership agreement signed by China's then president Hu Jintao and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The pandas will be moved in 2018 to the Calgary Zoo, where the winters are likely to be more frigid. But we can be sure that they will certainly grin and, er, bear the weather.