Pandamonium (pandas at Omaha Zoo)

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Pandamonium (pandas at Omaha Zoo)

Postby Brad » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:45 am

****Rumor****

It is  a rumor, but it is from a relyable source.

According to someone connected to the Omaha Zoo, after the orangataun display is finished this year, next years 2006 membership drive is going to be called pandimonium.  They need to start building a panda exibit because they are going to get pandas.  There is no timeline on when the pandas are going to be here, according to the source the chineese goverment keeps that a secret until they are ready to send them.

They also told me that Walter Scott Jr (Kewit) is involved in bringing the pandas to Omaha.
Last edited by Brad on Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Omaha Cowboy » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:52 am

Nice!..

This is one 'rumor' that I'd bet on to 'pan' out (pardon the pun) :) ..

Thanks for the info!..

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Postby Coyote » Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:27 am

Yes - I believe that it is only a matter of time.
Another build it and they will come. Show the Chinese authorities how serious we are.
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Postby Omaha Cowboy » Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:30 am

Roger that Coyote :)..

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Postby nebugeater » Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:58 am

This may be a rumor that they are comming but it is a FACT that they have been going all out to get them. I noticed for the first time late summer last year that there is a sign that is up that identifies the location of a Panda exibit. It was in the papers that they have been visited and reviewed by the China gov people. Nebr Gov J. talked about it on his trip to China a few months ago.

I had heard too from a "source" that they were next on the list, but the death of a Panda at the National Zoo ( I think) in DC could end up delaying things a bit.

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Postby MTO » Wed Mar 30, 2005 11:47 am

What will this do for the zoo? Does this elevate the zoo to some a special designation or is it a prestigious thing? Either way its good news and it seams that what ever they set their goals on it usually gets done. So I look forward to seeing the bears soon.
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As a foot note I think the zoo and botanical gardens should merge into one big attraction.

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Postby DTO Luv » Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:39 pm

Not a bad idea PKI. If we get Pandas that'll be one of the best things to gloat about. It will be a big plus all year and during the CWS.
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Postby CountOfMC » Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:40 pm

Geez I haven't been to the zoo in 3 or 4 years... all good news though. While they're at it, they should really look into the idea of a Rainforest Cafe. It would fit in perfectly with the atmosphere, and at nearly 2 million visitors a year, it should have no problem ridin' the tide. I'm thinking big too, like the one at Woodfield Mall in Chicago. I wonder if any interest has ever been shown, or if the zoo managers are just too concerned that it would siphon off profits from other zoo tenants leavin them with their hands flung in the air, and their fingers too.
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Postby omahastylee459 » Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:45 pm

thats an awesome idea, i never thought about that

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Postby skinzfan23 » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:05 pm

I think that is a great idea as well. I don't know exactly where they would put it, but hopefully on the outside or surrounding areas of the zoo. I have seen the one in downtown Chicago as well as one in Tyson's Corner Mall in Virginia/DC area. These are spectacular and would be a great addition to the area. I am going to Minneapolis this summer and might stop at the one at Mall of America. These restaurants are fun and look great.

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Postby DTO Luv » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:24 pm

I've heard about it from here but what exactly is the Rainforest Cafe? Upscale? Family? What?
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Postby Finn » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:33 pm

I think it is supposed to be Pandamonium.

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Postby edsas » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:41 pm

pkiphd wrote:What will this do for the zoo? Does this elevate the zoo to some a special designation or is it a prestigious thing?


Yes, it is prestigious, since pandas are rare in the first place and China is very selective about who gets them. I don't know the exact numbers, but only about 10 zoos in the world (probably less) have pandas. Whatever the number, Henry Doorly would be in pretty exlcusive company.

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Postby Hawkeye » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:17 pm

This is great news. Ol' Hawkeye hopes you're not just pandering to us though. :P

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Postby omahastylee459 » Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:59 pm

I've heard about it from here but what exactly is the Rainforest Cafe? Upscale? Family? What?


It has all sorts of food. It is a good family atmosphere as well. THe whole place is made out to be a rainforest with mechanical animals, aquariums, waterfalls, and fake thunderstorms like every half hour. It is a themed restaurant to the extreme! Plus they do a lot for the rainforest as well, I believe they take donations to save rainforest habitat.

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Postby Brad » Wed Mar 30, 2005 7:23 pm

I forgot to say I heard that the "panda house" was going to be just south of the new gorilla/orangataun complex by the lagoon and avery area

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Postby guy4omaha » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:02 pm

I was at a dinner a few weekends ago and a speaker from the zoo was the guest speaker. He went into quite a bit of detail on the research the zoo does around the world. He finished the evening by speaking about research the zoo is doing in China. Then he said that while he couldn't promise the zoo was going to get a panda or two from China or when, he confirmed the zoo is working very hard on it. It looked like they are trying to help China with research in the hopes that a payoff will be a panda to the Omaha zoo.

The guy, (wish I could remember his name), was a real tease. He would almost say that a panda was definitely coming and then he would take the sentence back with a disclaimer.
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Postby almighty_tuna » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:58 pm

Brad wrote:I forgot to say I heard that the "panda house" was going to be just south of the new gorilla/orangataun complex by the lagoon and avery area


Yeah, they had a big ol' sign there most if not all of last year. If you walk past the new gorilla complex and aviary towards the sea lions its right there where the path crosses the train tracks. Or, "across the street" from the end of the aviary.

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Postby POTUS » Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:42 pm

The San Diego Zoo has pandas. I never did see them. Though I had free entry to the zoo because I was military then, I didn't feel like waiting an hour and a half to see them. Not kidding, the two pandas were available for select hours of the day. To get the opportunity to see them meant waiting in line. I opted out and visited the rest of the zoo instead. Expect the same when Henry Dorly Zoo gets their pandas

Side note: Mr. Simmons, please make your next big renovation Pachyderm Hill. It's my favorite part of the zoo because I love elephants, but the island looks like |expletive|, and the hill is too steep. Not all projects need to be indoor exhibits. Thank you.[/b]

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Postby GoMavs » Fri May 06, 2005 10:54 pm

Sounds like Oakland is hot after what they claim is the last pair of Giant Pandas in North America

This is from a Contra Costa Times article

"However, Chang's dream is not complete. Although there certainly is reason for optimism -- in March 2004, China gave Oakland a "letter of intent" to loan it two giant pandas -- Chang admits more work will need to be done. And other zoos, such as Omaha and Las Vegas, are still in hot pursuit to get what China promises will be the last two giant pandas to be loaned to North America."

It also sounds like they are having some trouble raising the money to pay the costs of having Pandas.

Also from the Contra Costa Times

"The nonprofit Oakland China Wildlife Preservation Foundation hosted an inaugural $500-a-plate gala April 21 at the Oakland Arena. The affair, which drew more than 240 guests, was the first major fund-raising event by the preservation foundation or its partner, the Oakland Panda Foundation. Members are looking to raise the $7 million to $10 million it is estimated it will take to build an adequate facility for two giant pandas."

Something tells me that if Dr. Simmons could give certain people and companies assurances that Pandas are coming he could raise the needed money in a very short amount of time.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cct ... 521291.htm

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Postby DTO Luv » Fri May 06, 2005 11:10 pm

We should bust our |expletive| to get those Pandas. Especially if they are the last 2 they're going to give out. Just our luck they'd both be male. :wink:
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Postby eomaha » Sat May 07, 2005 8:39 am

I can assure you... the HDZ people ARE busting their |expletive|... and of course I assume everyone realizes where the zoo is concerned... price is no object.

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Postby GoMavs » Sat May 07, 2005 11:40 am

Sounds like Omaha may be out of luck if you believe what the Oakland Tribune says

"(City Councilman)Chang said competition is fierce between the Oakland Zoo and other zoos across the United States and Canada. He said Oakland has been promised the last pair to be loaned to North America."

This guy seems awful confident especially for a city and zoo that on the surface looks to be having a problem raising the needed money for Giant Pandas

If Oakland and Omaha are indeed competing for the last pair of pandas in North America, you have to think that the genorsity of this city(I highly doubt that Dr. Simmons would have to plan any $500 a plate dinners. Someone like Walter Scott or a company like Union Pacific or ConAgra would put up the needed money in a second) along with a reputation for research excellence in the breeding of rare species would give Omaha some leverage in what is a competive business.

http://www.oaklandnet.com/parks/news/041205a.asp

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Postby projectman » Sat May 07, 2005 4:11 pm

I had to chuckle as I read the 2nd to the last paragraph, "This is of international significance, Chang said. The Oakland Zoo and Oakland will really be elevated to a world-class zoo and a world-class city. .

If this does happen, I doubt Oakland would automatically be considered a world class city. I'm sorry but a city needs more than a pair of pandas to be considered "World Class". The zoo I can see being elevated. The city ...no.

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Postby DTO Luv » Sat May 07, 2005 7:02 pm

Oakland's right by San Francisco. Just mooch off of their world classness.
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Postby Brad » Sun May 08, 2005 2:56 pm

and of course I assume everyone realizes where the zoo is concerned... price is no object.


I had an instructor at Metro who talked to Dr. Simmons. He asked how they get the money to build stuff. Dr Simmons said, I don't worry about it, I just start building stuff and people just keep giving money for it.
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Postby Brad » Thu May 12, 2005 4:16 pm

Wowt cust had a story on its 4pm news that a zoo in China had TEN new panda cubs. Hopefully we can get a few of these.
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Postby Big E » Sun May 15, 2005 10:42 am

China's leader invited to talk pandas in Omaha

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=163 ... nd=2155320

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Postby Raraavis » Tue May 24, 2005 10:18 am

The money could be better spent on other new exhibits at the zoo. To put the zoo in a position to be held hostage by the Chinese government which can take the Panda's back anytime they want seems a little ridiculous. Take the same money and build something even bigger and better than the Rain Forest and Desert Dome.

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Postby Blazepaw » Wed May 25, 2005 8:51 am

I have to disagree with Raraavis.

This would put our city on the tourism map in a way that everything else we are doing never will.

I love and support the plan for the pedestrian bridge. It will not however be significant enough to draw tourists away from Chicago, Minneapolis, or Denver.

Barring the building a national monument here this is the best shot Omaha has at a major tourism draw.

Pandas (and the rest of H. D. Zoo) would be an attraction unique enough to make Omaha real competition for St. Louis's Arch and Mt. Rushmore.

It would also secure H. D. Zoos place as a truly world class zoo.

In so many ways We are competing with other zoos in a way that mimics the big theme parks. Build something bigger and better and you win. This would be impossible to match because of the ban on exporting any more wild pandas after this final exchange.

As for being held hostage by China. In China's defense they are running a risk right now of losing all their wild pandas. If the US had as few grizzly bears available we would expect the same.

This is no hostage situation. It is a great opportunity.

Like to would be if France agreed to loan Omaha the Mona Lisa and the Venus De Milo for five years, if we were willing to build a multi-million dollar wing onto Joslyn Art Museum. It would be worth the money and the space would be used after for another set of exhibits.

Finally, as for spending the money elsewhere. H.D. Zoo is never going to stop building. If this project means we go one or two years without building another HUGE addition there will be more down the line. I didn't see it suggested anywhere that "If the pandas come... We will be done".

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Postby loyalomahan » Wed May 25, 2005 9:04 am

Agreed, and consider just the increase in visitors to see these Pandas would bring in more than enough additional revenue elsewhere (hotels/restaurants/retail/etc/etc) to 'offset' the investment being put into them (an investment which corporate/philanthropic support is all too happy to contribute).

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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Wed May 25, 2005 12:41 pm

I've always thought the HDZ could benefit from opening a Rain Forest Cafe. I have been to the one in Colorado, KC, and both of the ones in Walt Disney World (Located at the Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney). The food is excellent, and the atmosphere is one of a kind. Plus, everything is done using enviornment freindly products--and a portion of the profit goes to Save the Raniforest projects.
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Postby OmahaDevelopmentMan » Wed May 25, 2005 12:46 pm

bradley414 wrote:I've always thought the HDZ could benefit from opening a Rain Forest Cafe. I have been to the one in Colorado, KC, and both of the ones in Walt Disney World (Located at the Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney). The food is excellent, and the atmosphere is one of a kind. Plus, everything is done using enviornment freindly products--and a portion of the profit goes to Save the Raniforest projects.


Yes, I think it would be a perfect fit for the cafateria place in the rainforest.

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Postby Coyote » Fri May 27, 2005 12:05 pm

Omaha Engages In Panda Politics

The Omaha Channel wrote:The next step in negotiations is to get the president of China to visit Omaha during a visit to the United States later this year.
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Panda confirmed

Postby Guest » Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:11 pm

Correspondence from Dr Simmons at HDZ has confirmed Omaha will be receiving a "young" panda from Chinese reserve. Adoption ceremony scheduled for March 3rd, '06. Announcement pending commitments from the major players. Potential visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao. Not sure of length of stay for animal.

I'll answer any questions I am able to, but won't get anyone in trouble.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:32 pm

That's spectacular news!! Thank you for providing this inside info. I wasn't aware they were finished with a location for a panda. Can you divulge where in the zoo this panda will stay?

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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:44 pm

Can you divulge where in the zoo this panda will stay?


My question as well. How fast can they make a Panda facility? 3 Months for a new facility may be a little hard to pull off.
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Postby Guest » Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:11 pm

:D


Thanks so much for the scoop. It is greatly appreciated.

Quest

Postby Quest » Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:22 pm

I'll have to ask my source again about that. I suppose I could have misunderstood "adoption announcement" as "adoption ceremony".

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Postby Guest » Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:51 pm

I think this has been known. The zoo announced they would be adopting one a few month back at a fundraiser. While this is exciting is merely a first step and still a few years off of actually getting one down on 13th.


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