Wild

Zookeepers build snowman inside panda's home then capture his reaction

February 17th, 2020
If you’ve ever built a tower for a toddler, then watched as he or she dismantled it in one fell swoop by kicking it, ramming a toy truck into it or karate-chopping it, then you know just how the zookeepers at the Toronto Zoo felt after an absolutely adorable giant panda playfully and hysterically destroyed a snowman they made just for him.
Da Mao’s keepers sweetly spent time and energy rolling out balls of magical white snow into different sizes so that they could stack them and create a snowman.

They expected the giant panda to be intrigued by the snowman and they were right!

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YouTube/Toronto Zoo Source: YouTube/Toronto Zoo
In a video that’s been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, Da Mao has brought oohs and ahhs out of people around the world as they watch him first be exceptionally curious about the newfound thing in his play area, then beat it up only to lose an epic battle.
Like most animals, Da Mao used his natural instincts to check out his new buddy. He claws at the snowman’s body, trying to get a tactile feel for what odd thing has invaded his area. It’s almost as if he’s attempting to hug it at first, but the snowman just isn’t reciprocating his affection.
Da Mao rolls around a bit in the snow, then stands up straight to look the snowman in its imaginary eyes and claws at its face. He even seems to be eating it. Piles of snow blow off in the wind as the two tussle.
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YouTube/Toronto Zoo Source: YouTube/Toronto Zoo
When Da Mao’s attempts to get a response from his friend won’t work, he stretches upward and scales it like Godzilla on a skyscraper, becoming king of the mountain, or snowman, if only for a second.
He perches on its rounded head and claims a fleeting victory over his opponent until he loses his balance and tumbles to the ground.

He even looks adorable wiping out in the snow!

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YouTube/Toronto Zoo Source: YouTube/Toronto Zoo
While falling ungraciously, the giant panda ends up with a face full of fresh snow as the snowman’s head flies off and lands on him. Undeterred, Da Mao is going to assail his new enemy. This thing is no longer his friend, but his foe! He bats its head around for a bit, then returns to square off against the snowman.
He tries scaling the decapitated snowman a few more times, but is unsuccessful in beating his adversary. The poor guy tumbles to the ground, even pulling off an impressive somersault as he plummets downward.
Da Mao takes a short break in the action only to return to challenge the snowman to another dual. He climbs back on the body, then slides off headfirst. He digs in his claws another time and scales it only to lay on his tummy and preciously play around.
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YouTube/Toronto Zoo Source: YouTube/Toronto Zoo
The giant panda swats at it as if to punish this darn headless snowman that keeps winning. Time and time again, Da Mao falls off and it’s hysterical!

At one point, he concedes defeat and just rolls away.

Da Mao was part of a pair of giant pandas that were shipped to Toronto from China as part of a conservation breeding program. He fathered two cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, with Er Shun in 2015.
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YouTube/Toronto Zoo Source: YouTube/Toronto Zoo
While the snowman showdown ended disastrously for poor Da Mao, he never gave up trying to first befriend his buddy who quickly became his enemy after pelting him in the face with a snowy head.
If you need a good giggle, definitely watch this playful creature in an encounter with a formidable counterpart, the snowman, in the video below. It really is quite cute!

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Source: YouTube/Toronto Zoo

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