San Diego Falls in Love with Pandas
In 1987, the Zoo hosted one of its biggest events ever: the visit of two black-and-white bears that caused a sensation. When giant pandas Basi and Yuan Yuan came to the San Diego Zoo for a 200-day stay, more than 800 people attended the welcome ceremonies on July 27, and more than 2 million people saw them during their visit. A special exhibit had been set up with separate areas for the two pandas, which were accompanied and cared for by two keepers from China’s Fuzhou Zoo. This was a rare appearance of giant pandas outside their native country, introducing people to this remarkable species in person and calling attention to their endangered status.