Chinese Language Blog

Giant panda breaks out of his Enclosure in front of visitors at Beijing Zoo Posted by on Dec 27, 2021 in Uncategorized

Photo by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay, CCO

The Chinese word for zoo is composed of two nouns:

动物 (dòng wù, animal) + 园 (yuán, park) = 动物园 (dòng wù yuan, zoo)

动物 means animal. 园 means garden, park, and it is mostly used when talking about the beautiful public parks (公园 gōng yuán) of China (in Beijing, for example). The character 园 appears in terms for lands used for growing plants. For example: 花园 (huā yuan, garden), 葡萄园 (pú táo yuan, vineyard) and even 乐园 (lè yuan, paradise). 园 also appears as an ending in sites used for the public and not only for plants and nature. Such as: zoo (动物园 dòng wù yuan), amusement park (游乐园 yóu lè yuán), nursery school (幼儿园 yòu ér yuán), campus (校园 xiào yuán), cemetery (陵园 líng yuán), etc.

A small incident at the Beijing zoo (北京动物园 Běi jīng dòng wù yuan) caught the attention of panda fans last week, when numerous visitors (游客 yóu kè) got an unplanned closer meeting with one of the zoo residents – 萌兰 (Méng Lán).

Meng Lan is a giant panda (大熊猫 dà xióng māo). He was born in July 2015 at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province. He was transferred to the Beijing Zoo at the age of two. Pictures of him and his mate were published online when they first met the public.

Last week Meng Lan went viral again after briefly escaping his enclosure in front of stunned zoo visitors. The curious bear stood on a big red ball to reach a rope hung on the fence (围墙 wéi qiáng). He then pulled himself up and climbed over a two meter railing (围栏 wéi lán). He entered a transition zone and peeked out at the crowed. His calm and calculated movements were caught on video:


Běijīng shì dòng wù yuán yī zhǐ dà xióng māo fān chū wéi lán.

A giant panda broke out the enclosure at the Beijing zoo.


Běijīng dòng wù yuán fān qiáng dà xióng māo shì “méng lán”.

The giant panda who crossed over the wall in Beijing zoo is Meng Lan.


The zoo staff quickly rushed to the scene to evacuate the tourists, and lured the animal back into his enclosure with food. The short incident ended with no injuries. Later that day, the zoo published the news on their Weibo account, and called the lovely Meng Lan naughty (调皮 tiáo pí), and added:


Bié kàn wǒmen dà xióngmāo zhǎng de pàng, dàn wǒmen shì zhēn de línghuó a!

Don’t look at us pandas getting fat, we are actually really flexible!


Text vocabulary

动物园 dòng wù yuán = zoo

游客 yóu kè = traveler, visitor

大熊猫 dà xióng māo = giant panda

只 zhǐ = measure word for giant panda

围墙 wéi qiáng = fence, wall

围栏 wéi lán = fence, railings



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  1. Peter Simon:

    A nice one, was on the news a few days ago here. But please correct “peeked out at the crowed” 🙂
    Best regards,

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