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Popular Pandas

Da Mao at the Toronto zoo in his pen

Da Mao at the Toronto Zoo in his pen

The Toronto Zoo in Ontario, Canada, has some new visitors this year, giant pandas. The zoo received Er Shun and Da Mao March 25 and the exhibit opened May 15. Soon after the revealing of the pandas, the zoo attendance rocketed instantly. Pandas are smaller than a black bear, but bigger than a koala bear. They are all white except for their legs, shoulders, ears and eyes. Pandas eat almost nothing but bamboo shoots and leaves. In fact, they consume 15 per cent of their weight in bamboo in 12 hours every day. The rest of their time they spend sleeping.

Giant pandas are very shy, so they don’t like to venture into areas where there are humans. Developers continue logging and constructing further and further into the bamboo forests and the giant panda’s habitats are shrinking. With less territory, the giant pandas have a hard time finding enough bamboo to eat and might even starve. This is why giant pandas are so rare and their population is dropping so drastically. There are only an estimated 1000 pandas left in the wild. If you want to learn more about pandas, you go to National Geographic Kids

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Musk + Rat = Muskrat!!

Have you ever seen a muskrat?  Well, they are incredibly cute as a baby and can get up to 24 inches long as an adult. They can also weigh up to 2.5 lbs.

Muskrats are not endangered in Canada, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about them! Muskrats live by water in marshy areas and can swim. It is really important to not destroy the habitat of the muskrat so they can breed and live a long, healthy life. If you ever see a muskrat it is best not to disturb it.

While my family and I were canoeing through the river at Bonnechere Provincial Park a little while back, a man (who was kayaking) told us that a muskrat had just swam right into his kayak. We decided to investigate so we slowly canoed up to the bank and we saw a baby muskrat. We spent 20 minutes there taking pictures of it and then we continued on. When we were heading back down the river we saw the muskrat yet again. We took even more pictures and then it swam away. It was so adorable!  We even got a video of him munching on plants (see  video below)

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P.S. You can  go to www.earthrangers.com to learn more on habitats and the video can be found on youtube.