Pandamonium at Ueno

Its been a while since I set foot inside in a zoo. Although I picture a zoo as a humongous space, Ueno Zoo was a little smaller than what I had in mind (but, that could be because Ueno Park also houses three amazing Museums amongst other national treasures).

Our reading mainly focused on the world-wide infatuation of pandas. Although I do admit Pandas are cute I was not expecting the Panda exhibit to be as crowded as it was. It was right next to the main gate with a line trailing well into other exhibits…There he was… A large male panda by the name of Li Li munching on bamboo shoots. According to the article, Panda’s flat face, round cheeks, and fat body remind us of children and babies which triggers paternal/maternal instinct in humans. We can’t help but to take care of them. In today’s world, Pandas cannot survive without the aid of humans. They rely on humans for the their most basic needs shuts food to reproduction. In a way… they have become our babies. However, Humans have done much damaged to the pandas’ natural environment which maybe have caused their evolution from independent bears to dependent cubs. We nearly drove them to extinction, I’d say it is our responsibility to keep them alive, ne.

In the middle of the Zoo, we encountered an image of the zoo a few years after its opening. As a class we picked out the features in which we could see the Zoo’s transformational claim from a place that portrays human dominance over nature to a place of education and conservation and other differences:

  • Animals used to be kept in cages. Unlike today’s zoo, animals habitats were not personalized or tailored to their needs beyond steel bars.
  • Like today, the animals were grouped according to either geographical compatibility or scientific classification of animals via the Linnean System.
  • Zoo buildings were built in the style of Japanese houses, which is unlike today
  • Linguistic observation: The signes in the earlier zoo were posted in Hiragana rather then Katakana (which was the main form of script encountered in today’s zoo).

Struked by the Pandemic or not, I do like cute food, so like all the other zoo visitors, Gerlin and I ended our trip with Panda stamped bread 🙂

Panda Bread