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kermodei

"Baby"/"Ming" (Giant panda)

Vintage postcard, likely from the late 1930s, seen at a local antique store.

"Baby"/"Ming" (Giant panda)
kermodei, 26 Oct 2023
    • kermodei
      The back of the postcard reads:
      From the Gardens of the Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, N.W.
    • Tim May
      That's a photograph of "Ming" the famous war time giant panda.
      kermodei and Osedax like this.
    • Tim May
      There are at least two dozen different postcards depicting the giant panda "Ming"; most were published by commercial postcard companies although this one is an official Zoological Society of London postcard.

      Many of the "Ming" postcards are very anthropomorphic, depicting the giant panda "reading" a newspaper, "driving" a toy car etc.

      A number of postcards feature photos taken by Bert Hardy that show the photographer's son, Mike, playing football with the panda, riding on the panda's back etc.
    • Panthera1981
      @Tim May What was Ming’s life history Tim? Seems a relatively young animal judging by the postcard.
    • Tim May
      @Panthera1981
      Yes 'Ming', originally named 'Baby', was the youngest of the five giant pandas that arrived at London Zoo in December 1938.

      The five giant pandas were originally called ‘Baby’, Grumpy’, ‘Dopey’, ‘Happy’ and 'Grandma’.

      ‘Grandma’ died on 9th January 1939, shortly after arriving in London, (and can be seen mounted in the Leeds Museum). ‘Happy’ was exhibited in various European zoos and eventually went to St. Louis, USA, where he died on 10th March 1946.

      The ZSL retained ‘Baby’, ‘Grumpy’ and ‘Dopey’ renaming them ‘Ming’, ‘Tang’ and ‘Sung’ respectively, so that they had oriental names.

      During the Second World War, the three London pandas all spent sometime at Whipsnade Zoo; 'Ming' was transported from London to Whipsnade and back again three times.

      Sadly 'Ming' died on 26th December 1944.
      kermodei and Osedax like this.
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  • Category:
    ZSL London Zoo
    Uploaded By:
    kermodei
    Date:
    26 Oct 2023
    View Count:
    460
    Comment Count:
    5

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