Welcome to SKYE

the new AOL Weather
What's new on Skye

The SKYE’s Weather Experience

We have recently redesigned AOL Weather. Learn about how we changed the way you experience weather forecasts.

See What's New My Cities

Skye Weather+Photo

The app where life and weather come together

Follow us:

Snow Day in San Diego?

Pandas in the city zoo enjoyed 15 tons of shaved ice blown into their exhibit

Panda cub Xiao Liwu climbs on top of his mom during a special snow day at the San Diego Zoo. (Credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo)

There was snow in San Diego this week - well, at least for a lucky group of giant pandas.

Over 15 tons of shaved ice were blown into the San Diego Zoo's panda exhibit March 19 to give the endangered bears a chance to play in the powder they would experience in their natural habitat.

The snow day was a first for Xiao Liwu - or "Mr. Wu," as keepers have taken to calling him. The charismatic cub was born over the summer to panda mom Bai Yun, who was making "snow pandas" on Tuesday while Xiao Liwu climbed on top of her.

"Xiao Liwu was jumping on Mom, wrestling with her and getting used to being thrown in the snow by mama bear," Jennifer Becerra, San Diego Zoo senior keeper, said in a statement. "He was definitely enjoying the snow and running around. I've never seen him so wired up."

Xiao Liwu, whose name means "Little Gift," was the sixth cub born to Bai Yun ("White Cloud"). All the San Diego Zoo giant pandas are on a research loan from China, as part of a long-term captive breeding program. (Four of Xiao Liwu's siblings have already been moved from California to China.)

Today there are 44 giant pandas living in zoos outside of China, where the bears' only current natural home exists. As just 1,600 pandas are thought to be left in the wild, researchers maintain that captive breeding is an important way to study and conserve the endangered species. In addition to habitat loss from human activities and low reproductive rates, giant pandas' survival is also threatened by climate change. A study released in the journal Nature Climate Change last year found that global warming could wipe out much of the bears' chief food source, bamboo, over the next century.

We're also on Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.com

Baby Panda Pics: See A Cub Growing Up
Butter Balls: Photos of Playful Pandas
The 10 Weirdest Animal Discoveries of 2012

Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RELATED ON SKYE: The Arctic Fox and More Amazing Cold Weather Creatures


Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:


March 22 2013 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 22 2013 at 10:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Love pictures of animals.

March 21 2013 at 11:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


March 21 2013 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Like us on Facebook?
Next on Skye
Snow Brushing DC, Philly, NYC and Boston Thursday