Many parents would tell you that one of the hardest things about having a toddler is their constant need to explore the world around them. With their increasing energy and growing curiosity, toddlers never want to stay in one place. Turn your back for one second, and your youngster is already darting towards the other end of the store!
Yuan Yuan the giant panda, who resides at the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan, also knows the struggle. Back in 2013, her little cub, Yuan Zai, was at “that” stage where she was yearning for independence and trying to figure this whole life thing out. In fact, the zoo recorded some adorable footage of the cub sneaking away from her momma to go on a solo outing. Since it was posted online, it has earned over 3,800,000 views!
In the video, we witness the fuzzy baby panda in the inside portion of her shared zoo exhibit. Although she’s still struggling to walk at her young age, with wide eyes and an eagerness to discover her surroundings, Yuan Zai gladly takes off without her mom in sight.
Little Yuan Zai comes across a zookeeper cleaning up one of the rooms of the panda exhibit, where Mother Yuan Yuan is seen eating in there not long later. Hearing the sound of crunching leaves, the baby panda comes into the room to greet her momma, only to leave moments later to finish her journey alone.
Seeing that her daughter has had plenty of time adventuring around the home, Yuan Yuan comes out after eating and carefully drags Yuan Zai by the neck to take her to their bedroom for a nap. At first, the wild panda cub rebels, wiggling and squirming! But eventually, by the end of the video, the mom and baby are seen cuddling together in a corner of their bedroom to prepare for bed.
Yuan Yuan and Yuan Zai are too cute for words!
Although a majority of viewers enjoyed the footage, there are a few comments here and there concerned about the pandas living in a zoo.
Here’s a different perspective on the take:
“For those concerned about them living in a ‘jail cell,’ this is what reality has become for creatures on the brink of endangerment. With fewer than 1600 wild pandas left in existence, being kept in a zoo is one of the last options we have for ensuring the continuation of their species.”
In the end, Taipei Zoo is doing everything they can to help preserve the giant panda population. In fact, Yuan Yuan was the first-ever baby giant panda born in Taiwan!
Check out Yuan Zai’s mini adventure in the video below.