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Zookeepers, as a rule, watch animals.

But on this morning, Gil Myers, an animal keeper on the Asia Trail, came out to watch people watch animals. That’s because one of Myers’ jobs is to determine “the best time” for people to view the animals. Myers marks down the critical information on a clipboard.

And why are the red pandas so sleepy this morning, Mr. Myers? Well, the zookeeper is hoping for a bit of friskiness in the very near future. He just gave the animals something known in zoo parlance as an “apple-flavored leaf-eater biscuit.” Even with the power of some natural sugars, however, Myers isn’t holding out a bunch of hope that the mating is going to work out. As it happens, the male in this pairing, an excitable chap named Tate, is terribly inexperienced sexually and not getting the job done. They’ll probably have to wait till next year for some more productive action.

Reporting by Jule Banville