San Diego Zoo to celebrate Chinese culture with updated panda exhibit

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

A summer-long “China Celebration” will bring acrobatic performers, new animal exhibits and an updated giant panda area to the San Diego Zoo.

Photos: Panda Trek area set to open this summer at the San Diego Zoo

Home to three giant pandas, the refreshed and rechristened Panda Trek area of the zoo is expected to open in late July or early August with new Asian-themed exhibits dedicated to antelope-like Sichuan takins, raccoon-like red pandas, Mangshan pit vipers and northern Chinese leopards.

Zoo officials are hoping for a panda birth in August from 21-year-old Bai Yun, who bred this spring but whose pregnancy hasn’t been confirmed yet. Bai Yun, who arrived from China in 1996, has given birth to five cubs.

The zoo’s “China Celebration” will begin Saturday with dancers, acrobats, martial artists, trampoline experts and stilt walkers.