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Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Panda Pair Stops in ANC
Gangs of surly black bear roamed the outer perimeter of Ted Stevens International Airport early yesterday morning hoping to catch a glimpse, or at least a whiff of international celebrity Ya Ya, as she and her escort Le Le stopped at the Air Crossroads of the World for fresh water and bamboo shoots. "I'd like some of that 'fresh,' " said one of the bruins as he eyed the panda festooned MD-11 on the Fed Ex ramp ramp through the wire fence. Calling himself "Butch," and refusing to name a home den, the middle aged blackie decried increased security at the airport. "It just took a few idiot humans to ruin it for the rest of us," he said. Butch emited a low, warning growl as a couple of younger of his species approached. "Damn kids, if I don't get a shot they sure as heck don't," he said. Asked what he would do if he was able to get anywhere within a mile or so of the aircraft Butch just smiled. Reminded that the female Giant Panda was accompanied by an older male, Butch just snorted. "Yeah, whatever. I live in Anchorage, Alaska. I eat out of dumpsters and dog bowls. You think some leaf-muncher two-tone is gonna stop me?" We could hear the engines on the jet wind up for the last leg of the journey to the home of Elvis . Butch took one last, wistful sniff of the air, and padded off into the bushes, but not before leaving a small trace of his presence, right at your reporters feet.

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