A trip to San Diego would hardly be complete without a visit to the city's world class zoo. This zoo rivals any zoo I have ever visited, and although I hate to see animals in captivity, I was assured by friends that this zoo would make me feel better about that. In truth, I was very impressed with this zoo, as it has gone to great lengths to re-create the natural environment that the animals would normally live in. The animals are very well cared for, and when one considers that man is the greatest threat to some of the most endangered of the species found here, it makes sense to try to house them in a beautiful place where they can be nurtured and cared for.
The pandas are on loan from China, and are the most popular of the exhibits at the zoo. I captured the photo of this lovely little panda munching on bamboo shoots in the dappled sunlight, and decided that the panda would be my first painting when I got home from my trip. Here is my reference photo:
Is it any wonder that these animals are so beloved by humans?
I have been asked and consented to donate this painting to Pandas International, a non profit organization dedicated to helping preserve this beloved endangered animal. It will be available for purchase through their Black and White Extravaganza and Silent Auction, to be held in February 2010. If you would like to read more about the pandas at the San Diego Zoo, please go here.