It’s a well-known fact that kids love snow days. However, you might not know that giant pandas are also fond of snow — and playing in it. In case you were unaware of the fact, there’s an adorable viral video that’s being shared around the internet you simply must check out. For educational purposes, of course.
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) January 23, 2016
The Smithsonian National Zoo shared a cute clip via Twitter of giant panda Tian Tian. The panda “woke up to snow,” and it was clearly a welcome sight for the playful creature. He wasted no time immediately diving right into the mounds snow and into our hearts.
— CNN (@CNN) January 23, 2016
Tian Tian seemed to enjoy rolling in the snow, and as the Washington Times writes, throwing it in the air. You can almost hear the happy, “Whee!” sounds he’s probably making in his mind.
The video clip is certainly a pleasant reminder that although giant pandas grow older, they don’t always seem to grow up, remaining as playful as any baby panda. Speaking of which, Tian Tian’s five-month-old daughter, Bao Bao, went viral in her own right a couple of weeks ago when videotaped experiencing her first snowfall.
Tian Tian is also the father of 2-year-old Bei Bei. Zookeepers noted he was much shier than his sister and father about interacting with the frozen precipitation, and this was after a “light dusting” on Wednesday. According to zoo officials, poor Bei Bei “wasn’t quite sure what to make of the powdery snow.”
Well, at least his father wasn’t shy about having fun with this recent snowfall!
— ABC News (@abcnews) January 24, 2016
A video like this, which reportedly has already amassed tens of thousands of views, might make some worry. Is the weather too cold for this giant panda to play in the snow safely? The answer is that the giant panda is perfectly fine. As the Canada Journal reports, he has “thick wooly fur” to help keep him warm. The news source also notes that pandas like Tian Tian are native to mountainous regions in China that frequently experience snowfall.
Unfortunately, the number of giant pandas in the wild is quite small, with about 2,000 confined to “the Qin Mountains in Shaanxi Province, and the Min Mountains in Sichuan and Gansu provinces.” The light-hearted nature of this video almost makes one forget just how seriously endangered pandas are.
Pandas are the face of the World Wildlife Fund and efforts to save endangered animal species around the world. Videos like this are important for remembering of why it’s necessary to work so hard to protect the giant panda population — so that their adorable playfulness will be around for future generations of adults and children to enjoy.
Perhaps one of the best things about this video of a panda playing in the snow is that it probably shows the one living being who’s had the most unapologetic fun with Winter Storm Jonas. The system blew through starting last week and continuing into the weekend. Jonas buried cities across the east coast with snow, and others experienced massive flooding. As the snow melts, additional flooding may be cause for concern in some areas.
Many people are only just now starting to dig out, and for them, all of this white stuff is hardly a laughing matter. That’s why a video like this was needed and is greatly appreciated.
— Fox 5 San Diego (@fox5sandiego) January 24, 2016
Pandas are often furry and cute reminders that the weather outside can be terrible, but (as long as you do so safely) it can be a time for fun, too. Don’t let this giant panda be the only one to make the most of all the snow. Get outside and make a snowman or a snow angel. Maybe hit someone with a snowball or two.
Just as with Tian Tian the giant panda, your own inner child need not be too far away to have a little fun this winter.
[Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images]