Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 23, 1972 · Page 7
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July 23, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 7

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, July 23, 1972
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Page 7
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7A--July 23, 1972 cifoMpT Unchetvable Toy Ball Found For Playful Pandas at Zoo By Tom Shales The Washington Post WASHINGTON-Voila, th panda-proof toy! , Oh, they may look like ord nary balls, but they're special Two 12-inch diameter hollov spheres, each held together wit big steel rivets and covered ii an extruded plastic materia sure to stymie even the mos manic panda. Let's see thos cute little devils tear these ba bies to bits! They tried Fridaty, they tried Especially Ong-Long, after the ball scared her half to death when it landed behind her in the panda pen, tossed from above by Dr. Theodore H. Reed, head of the National Zoo, while a small crowd watched suspense fully. It was 8:15 a.m. and already 80 degrees. There she was, lying happily in her redwood tub-- t h o r o u g h l y disproving the Chinese assertion that pandas don't like water--when the ball plopped down behind her. She jumped out of the tub and rolled over--what was this? Once recovered from the intrusion, she made straight for the ball and immediately began to chew on it. Panda-proof huh? We'll see about that. THE PANDAS had managed to demolish every other toy, including soccer balls, submitted for their approval. "They tear 'em all up," said Tex Rowe, one of the keepers. But the ball held together, even as Ling-Ling clawed, snapped and bit at it. Then she began to like it. She rolled it around. She lay on her back and embraced it with her paws. She pushed it around with her snout. She turned a somersault on top of it. Dr. Reed puffed his pipe and smiled. "Of course, we can't call it a success yet," he said. "I'll give her three days. That should tell the story." Hsing-Hsing, next door, had been ignoring his ball, but Ling Ling was having such a good time, he decided to fool around with it. The "his" model, unlike the "hers," doesn't have two pieces of wood in it to make a noise. So after batting it for awhile, Hsing-Hsing just sat down and held the ball lovingly. The male tends to be quieter than the female most of the time. The two balls were bought for the pandas--at a price of $140 each--by friends of the National Zoo, and each one is engraved "V.O.N.Z." Peter Andrews, president of the group, helped Reed do the official tossing-in. WILFRED 0. BIEHL, vice president of a Rockville, Md., firm called Rogay Inc. which made the balls, was first to arrive at the zoo, and he brought his three children and his mother with him to witness the historic ,moment. "I have here ze balls," said Biehl, who has a slight German accent. Andrews greeted him and said most of the pandas' Tech Taking 140 Students 'Upward' MONTGOMERY-For t h e past several weeks 140 high school students from southern West Virginia have been participating in West Virginia Tech's Upward Bound Program. Dr. Wallace Campbell, director of the program, said high school students with college potential were being encouraged to continue their studies after graduation. Campbell said many innovative techniques had to be used because the students were not using their full potential and only approaches different from the ones used in high school will influence the students. The academic program is designed to build skills in English, math, science, social studies, and reading speed and comprehension. In addition, there are courses in carts and crafts, music, drama, play production, publications and printing, surveying, choreography and planning and budgeting. During the seven week' course, which began July l and runs through August 18, various seminars will be conducted in population control, poverty, ecology and drug usage. Upward Bound students come from low income families and have college potential, as indicated by academic performance and recommendations from high school counselors, but who have difficulty in realizing that potential. 14 Armed Robbers Executed in Nigeria LAGOS, Nigeria--(APV-Four- tean convicted armed robbers were shot to death Saturday by an army firing squad before a cheering crowd of thousands in Port Harcourt, it was reported in Lagos. The executions brought to 171 i the number of Nigerians shot| since the death penalty was de-| creed for convicted armed rpb-i hers in August 187ft following! Nigeria's 30-month civil war. I \ Itoys hadn't lasted longer than 20 minutes. Later, Biehl told Reed he guaranteed the balls for a full year. "If you see anything h coming loose, you just call me and we come over and fix it right up," he said. Biehl declined to identify the substance covering the balls, except to call it a plastic similar to that used in making luggage. "It is no secret, but ve don't want ze competitors to know about it," he said. Although Hsing-Hsing eventually tried of his ball and took to ;earing down bamboo trees instead, Long-Ling kept playing throughout her brief period outdoors. An intrepid photographer leaned over the fence, and she obligingly showed off her cuddliest poses. "I hope he doesn't fall in," said public relations woman Bilie Hamlet as she watched the photographer. "If he does, he's dead. They're not as cute as hey look." GIANT PANDA LING-LING HAVING A SPLASHING GOOD TIME Disproving Chinese Assertion That Pandas Don't Like Water AP Wirephoto COCKTAIL /RINQ *(R' excitement L l'0 to your life See our Larj-e Assortment ?200.00 to $2,000.00 · DOWNTOWN (Next to The Diamond) · KANAWHA CITY JEWELERS 1 · i . ^- * » Sears OCA* AWKf Red Hot Special 100% Nylon Stretch Short 2 99 Only 400 To Sell Missy si/.es $ to 20 only and y o u ' l l h a v e to h u r r y to get a c o u p l e of pairs. 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