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Blizzard: Giant Panda at National Zoo Is Internet Snow Star [WATCH]

Jan 27, 2016 02:48 PM EST
Bao Bao the Giant Panda
The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. recently re-opened after being snowed-in, but in the meantime, many of its animals have starred in trending videos. That includes Tian Tian the Giant Panda, who rolled in apparent ecstasy in the snow.
(Photo : Twitter @National Zoo/Smithsonian)

The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. reopened today after being socked-in with snow since last week's East Coast blizzard. However, opening day is just another chance to see some of the animals that have been stars of the Internet since flurries flew, including Tian Tian the Giant Panda. That panda is famous for a video in which he rolled and slathered snow over himself in apparent glee and ecstasy -- the way some skiers feel too, we think -- in banks of snow at the zoo.

Tian Tian was not the only animal that seemed to do just fine in the sudden influx of cold, white stuff. A North American river otter, in its water-repellent fur coat ("built like a snowsuit or diving suit," said the Zoo's Twitter account) lay in the snow, white bits on its whiskered snout.

Another of the Giant Pandas, BaoBao, hung out in the snow and sun, munching sugarcane.

A furry, fluffy red panda also seemed okay with chowing down on its food while standing in the snow. As the Zoo's Twitter stream pointed out, red pandas' feet are completely covered in thick fur -- better, by some estimates, than sheepskin boots.

Snow isn't a new concept for Giant Pandas in their native range in central China. For one thing, the temperate forests in that region receive about 30 to 40 inches of rain and snow each year, according to the Zoo's website. They're also accustomed to drinking fresh water from snow-fed rivers and streams that run down from high mountains. Therefore, a bit of icy cold comes with the territory, and is possibly why Tian Tian seemed so delighted by the blizzard. 

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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