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Jin Baobao frolicking in the snow on February 17, 2018. Video: Ähtäri Zoo

The Ähtäri Zoo’s panda house opened to the public today at 10:00 in the morning in Ähtäri, middle Finland.

Jīn Baobao and Hua Bao, better known as Lumi and Pyry (Snow and Snowfall), have been in quarantine since they arrived in Finland on January 18 [highlight color=#FFFF00 ]in a heavy snowfall[/highlight].

According to the Ähtäri Zoo, the panda couple’s “time in quarantine went well, and the pandas have got used to their indoor enclosures.” Since today, they’ve been allowed to go outside and play in the snow. Finland Today played with the idea of that the pandas could very well be sleeping when presented to the public for the first time because of their limited energy input and eating massive amounts of bamboo sheets. “The giant panda tends to limit its social interactions and avoids steeply sloping terrain to limit its energy expenditures,” [highlight color=#FFFF00 ]reporter Richard Bedhall wrote[/highlight] in January.

Today, that didn’t happen.

Jin Baobao (Snow), was true its name after plowing through deep piles of snow. Picture: Ähtäri Zoo

According to the reports from the scene, Jin Baobao, the female panda, was frolicking in the snow and was very interested in its new surroundings. Hua Bao was walking slower and took his time, mostly watching his female companion climbing trees and running around.

The pandas live in the so-called snow panda house. The construction began in early 2017, and the house was finished in December 2017. The area of the house is about 2,400 square meters; the site covers 10,000 meters; the outside enclosure is about 4,000 square meters.

Jin Baobao exploring her surroundings. Picture: Ähtäri Zoo

According to the zoo, the building provides the pandas with private rest areas, indoor and outdoor enclosures and various stimuli such as climbing facilities and water elements. In the indoor facilities, the public can follow the panda couple’s life through large glass walls. The indoor conditions are equivalent to those inside a greenhouse. “The humidity level is precisely defined and the temperature is controlled so the vegetation thrives and the pandas are able to behave as their species normally does. This is important to keep them happy and healthy. Also, the pandas’ food needs to be stored in precisely defined conditions,” the zoo said in a bulletin.

According to Heini Niinimäki, the vet of the zoo, the pandas need 12 to 30 kilos of bamboo a day. “The pandas also get panda cake and some carrots and apples.”

Currently, Jin Baobao weighs a little over 100 kilos, and Hua Baobao weighs 10 kilos more.

Hua Bao took it easy. Picture: Ähtäri Zoo