Remember Little "Butterstick" ?

Five years ago, Tai Shan the infant panda was the cuteness king of Washington. Now he's all grown up, back home in China, and looking like this:


This picture, and many more on this Facebook page, come courtesy of Pandas International, which has been doing wonderful work for a long time in supporting the panda centers and habitats in China. A description of their work here in the magazine, from 2007. They deserve your support.

Also via PI, the Chinese news video of Tai Shan when he was coming out of health quarantine, after his journey from the Washington DC birthplace, early this spring. If you watch even the first 15 seconds you'll get to hear the reporter saying, "Tai Shan -- Ni hao!" Later (I believe) they discuss how quarantine time has eased the new arrival's adjustment to Sichuan food and the distinctive Sichuan dialect (!). By the end of the clip Tai San has been released from his quarantine cage and is prowling around his enclosure, and a sponsor announces a big birthday party for him on July 9.

The role of ABCs, or "American Born Chinese," has been important or at least interesting in China's modern evolution. Tai Shan now joins that group. Think of his birthday this coming week. Happy Independence Day, Tai Shan!