Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:54 pm

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Danica W
April 6, 2020
:rh: :cry1: We recently had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to the smallest but mightiest of our panda family here at Zoo Atlanta, Idgie the red panda. At nearly 14 years old, Idgie was considered geriatric for her species, and what she lacked in size she more than made up for in personality. Full of spunk, she immediately stole the hearts of everyone who met her, care team and guests alike. She captivated many with her extreme cuteness and kept all of us on our toes daily, constantly challenging us and helping us grow as animal caregivers. Known lovingly in our department as our “training rock star,” that girl would voluntarily participate in all her training as long as you had grapes. As she got older and her arthritis developed, it was a true team effort to make sure that we made her as happy, comfortable, and engaged as possible. I think one of the things I will remember most when I think of Idgie will be the collaborative effort we all made for her. Members of Animal Care, Veterinary Team, Maintenance and Horticulture all brainstormed and worked tirelessly to make sure she had everything she needed. It was a lot of work, but our Idgie was worth it, and we were rewarded by getting to watch her comfortably live out her golden years.
Idgie was an amazing ambassador for her species, introducing many to red pandas and inspiring them to help act against the illegal pet trade and the effect it has on wild red panda populations. She had a huge fan base, and none of us could walk to her habitat without hearing a guest say how cool, unique, or just downright cute she was. She might not have known it, but she did and will continue to have a big impact on red panda conservation.
Being an animal care professional is one of the coolest jobs on Earth. These animals hold a big presence in our hearts, and saying goodbye to them never gets any easier. We are all heartbroken but can take pride in knowing that Idgie, like all the animals here at Zoo Atlanta, got the best possible care we could provide and immeasurable love from her care team and fans. I can safely speak for all of us when I say that caring for Idgie and getting to know her quirky personality was a true privilege, and things around here just won’t be the same without her. I’ll miss the way she wiggled her tail when she was scent-marking, how excited she got for grapes, and the little vocalization she made when she thought we weren’t being quick enough about delivering her breakfast. This might be the last Panda Update about Idgie, but I hope she has left just as big of a paw print on your hearts as she has on ours, and that you continue to learn and help combat the threats that are causing these amazing animals’ decline. We will miss you, Idgie!
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by IrishEyes » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:02 am

Queenie so sorry to read this :cry1: :brknhrt: My deepest sympathy to you and all you loved and cared for Idgie.. but what a wonderful life she had and bought joy to so many.. :love:

:hug: to all!
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:39 pm

Thank you Bev, she was wonderful and always had a big crowd around her yard, watching her always busy, everyone did love her ~ she was a total J O Y & such a precious memory :rh:

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Danica W
April 17, 2020
This week, Ambassador Animals Team members Megan and Wendy brought some new friends to visit the pandas! Olaf and Sven the Gulf Coast native sheep were out for a walk on grounds, and Megan and Wendy brought them up to visit the pandas outside their outdoor habitats. This was the first time Ya Lun or Xi Lun had ever seen a member of our Petting Zoo herd, so we all wondered how they would react. They didn’t seem to notice much and were more concerned with the fresh bamboo shoots we had given them. Like the pandas, Olaf and Sven were very focused on their keepers as they visited this new place, and looked to them for yummy reinforcement for good behavior in the form of sheep grain. There was a brief moment (pictured) where we think everyone noticed each other, but they all quickly went back to snacking. How did Yang Yang and Lun Lun react you ask? Well, they slept through the entire thing, of course. Naps are important business around here.
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals
(photos by Danica W.)
q. I hope they took them to see Lun & Yang too, they've been watching the windows for fans/friends to come back! :( :grhug: Oh no, I saw the adults were tired and were napping and missed them & the Luns looked fascinated
Mama Lun & Daddy Yang Watching Windows
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sat May 02, 2020 10:02 pm

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Danica W
April 29, 2020
It’s the giant pandas’ and Panda Care Team’s favorite time of year: bamboo shoot season! Bamboo shoots are popping up on Zoo grounds, as well as at some of the sites where our Bamboo Team is harvesting. Bamboo shoots look a lot like asparagus coming out of the ground, and they only show up for a short time each spring. They are nutrient dense and the pandas eat the whole thing minus the protective sheath. For that reason, the bamboo shoots fill the pandas up a lot quicker and are way easier for us to clean up in comparison to the bamboo shrapnel that is scattered in the habitats after the pandas enjoy older bamboo growth. Bamboo shoots are juicy, crunchy, and you might have enjoyed bamboo shoots yourself, as they are used in a variety of delicious dishes that originate in Asia. Thanks to shoot season, all of the pandas are putting on a little extra weight and sleeping a little more. If this is what your quarantine routine looks like, don’t fret. The giant pandas are right there with you.
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals
(Check out a video on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter by Danica W.)
:vid: https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/ ... 32939044/ Earthday 2020 Enrichment 1.32 minutes Panda at .40
:vid: https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/208381890453044/
:vid: https://twitter.com/i/status/1248279804031500288 56 seconds
Lun Lun Splashing in the Pool 57 seconds so cute :%:
see photo next post >
It's the giant pandas' and Panda Care Team's favorite time of year: bamboo shoot season! (Video by Danica W.)
:vid: https://twitter.com/i/status/1255603075932475392 37 seconds ~ so sweet twins eating shoots ~ and turn on sound
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:vid: https://twitter.com/i/status/1252983236055236612 49 seconds panda opening treat box~Apr 22
To change the world, we need everyone to add their voice. Join the millions around the world mobilizing for a better planet by checking out https://buff.ly/HPM0kt. What will you to do mark 50 years of @EarthDayNetwork
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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queenie
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sat May 02, 2020 10:35 pm

cont. from above post Mama Lun Lun Splashing in Pool
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Mon May 18, 2020 9:01 pm

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Zoo Atlanta will be open to the public as of Saturday, May 16, 2020.

Danica W
May 18, 2020
Things have been fairly normal for the giant pandas since our last update. The pandas didn’t seem to notice the lack of visitors prior to reopening the Zoo, and they also haven’t shown any reaction to visitors returning. Giant pandas are happy wherever they have bamboo, and they (and the Panda Care Team) have been enjoying bamboo shoot season quite a bit. It’s normal for the pandas to put on a little water weight during shoot season, and they can even gain over 20 pounds a day (most of which is discarded overnight for us to clean up in the morning). When the giant pandas show us that they want bamboo through their behavior (vocalizing, walking around the habitat, etc.) we give them as much as we think they’ll need to be satiated and take a nap. We don’t really notice quite how much bamboo we have gone through until we do our calculations at the end of the day. While finishing up those calculations yesterday, I had to do a double take to make sure I didn’t goof up the numbers. We used over 530 pounds of bamboo! I double checked, and sure enough, the numbers came back the same. It was the most I had seen us use in a single day since I joined the Panda Care Team, and I was especially surprised because we had almost no bamboo waste at the end of the day. Needless to say, we definitely had some happy, full pandas yesterday, and some very grateful caregivers who are glad we are lucky enough to have our own Bamboo Team to harvest for the pandas.
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:vid: 25 second=Pine shavings in a barrel is one of my favorite enrichment items https://twitter.com/i/status/1267562168381313025
Danica W
June 1, 2020
Giant pandas have super thick fur, so they are not very heat tolerant and don’t usually want to be outside during Georgia summers. On most days by about Noon, it is too warm to have the pandas in the outdoor habitats, so two groups go to the climate-controlled indoor dayrooms, and one group stays in their behind-the-scenes den areas in the building. All of our giant pandas enjoy being behind the scenes every once in a while; in their minds it means an increased chance of seeing the Panda Care Team and therefore an increased chance of getting some leafeater biscuits (don’t tell the pandas, but they get an allotted amount every day regardless of their location in the habitats). I always enjoy having a panda behind the scenes while we are cleaning and doing routine for the day. For the Care Team, it’s great to have another friend around while we are busy getting everything done. The pandas are just the kind of friends who eat snacks the whole time, then sleep on the job. Pine shavings in a barrel is one of my favorite enrichment items to give the pandas while they are behind the scenes with us. I call it the “cub in a tub.” Be sure to check on a video on our social networks later today!
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals
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The Luns Outside
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The Luns Inside & Daddy Yang
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:42 pm

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Amanda D.
June 17, 2020
During this time, the Carnivore Team has changed up the way we do a few things to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals are being met. You’ve probably already seen that all Zoo Atlanta team members and animal care professionals are wearing masks, and additionally, are maintaining social distance with other Zoo Atlanta teammates, as well as the animals that we care for. Out of an abundance of caution, we make sure to maintain six feet between us and the giant pandas even when we are training.
For the Panda Care Team, we have been using a PVC pipe to maintain six feet while being able to offer them reinforcement. First, we introduce the PVC pipe to the bear. Holding one end near the mesh and making sure we don’t see any behaviors that signal they are not comfortable. We continue to acclimate them to it by feeding them with reinforcement using the PVC. Once we have seen that they have remained calm and are not showing any signs of being bothered by it, we can continue with our training session by asking the individual for different behaviors. So far, all of the bears have been introduced to this new type of training. It has certainly taken them some getting used to, as it’s very different from what they know! Recently Heather and I did a training session with Yang Yang, and he did great! He was very interested in the PVC pipe but wasn’t bothered by it at all. Even despite the current circumstances, we are able to come up with novel ways to continue engaging and interacting with the bears while continuing to be safe and socially distant!
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals
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q. glad to read above update ^ to see Zoo Atlanta has created gr8 plans of how to "engage & interact with the bears" & be able to "introduce a new type of training" to deal with social distancing & of course our smart & trusting bears :rh: are cooperating like the stars they are!
Here We Are Enjoying Probably Their Favorite Scent=Enrichment for the Twins {looked like one scouted it out and relayed/inspired the message :hooray: to the other :huggie: }
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:46 pm

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Shauna
June 10, 2020
Now that bamboo shoot season is done, it is time for the next type of bamboo. We just started offering a favorite of the giant pandas at this time of year, arrow bamboo (Pseudosasa japonica). As one might imagine, it has been a hit so far. Arrow bamboo is a really long and skinny bamboo with only a few leaves on top. Generally the pandas don’t eat the leaves of the arrow. so the Bamboo Team cuts off the top portion and shares them with the Elephant Team. While it is hard sometimes to convince the pandas that shoot season is actually done, arrow usually makes for a suitable substitute.
Shauna
Keeper II, Mammals
(photo by Shauna)
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Danica W
June 15, 2020
With the warmer weather, we almost always have one (or two if it’s the twins) giant pandas behind the scenes with us. As mentioned in previous updates, the giant pandas enjoy these days, because in their opinion we are more easily accessible to give them as many leafeater biscuits as they may need. We like make sure their den areas are as comfortable and enriching as their outdoor habitats and dayrooms are, so we often have one of the hammocks set up for the pandas to lounge in. Yang Yang and the twins tend to use it as more of a table to rest their bamboo on while eating. Lun Lun takes full advantage of the hammock, and can often be found napping, eating, or using it as a trampoline to interact with her care team. Lun Lun doesn’t get too playful very often, but she makes up for it with enthusiasm! Be sure to check out a video on Zoo Atlanta’s social networks later today!
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals
:vid: https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/266276778054881/ 32 second video of Lun funny & active, turn on sound :giggle:
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:17 pm

photos from Zoo Atlanta 32 second Video :vid: on facebook above, ^ Mama Lun played fast & fun! :%:
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by IrishEyes » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:49 pm

Thanks so much queenie ..... I love the video :) Hope all is well with you and yours :hug:

We are all well here :)
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:31 pm

Hi Bev,
Thank you, Lun was playing hard in the video. Glad you are doing well, I am too, hope everyone is in these different times.
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:vid: 38 Seconds :giggle: https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/983775162054062/ >
Amanda D.
July 17, 2020
As Michelle E. mentioned the other day, the panda office contains monitors that allow us to view multiple spaces throughout the building, which helps us to determine next steps in routine as we check on each bear. One day, while I was checking on everyone, I noticed that Ya Lun was still napping on her usual spot on the structure in the dayroom, but Xi Lun was awake. Instead of sitting on the ground next to a pile of arrow bamboo, she decided the best spot to eat it was on top of the structure next to her sister. She lounged back and got int ^ a comfy position, resting her head on her sister, and started eating. It was one of those moments that immediately put a smile on my face. If you need a little pick-me-up, check out a video clip on our social networks later today!
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals

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Michelle E.
July 15, 2020
So many of you tune in to our PandaCam daily, but did you know that we do too? Our office is filled with monitors showing views of the pandas. They show the dayrooms, the outdoor habitats, and the behind-the-scenes dens. It is difficult for us to see directly into the panda dayrooms from behind the scenes, but the cameras let us check up on the pandas constantly. We often make decisions about our next steps in our daily routine by checking the cameras to see which pandas are asleep, happily eating, or acting interested in another round of bamboo. We also simply enjoy it as much as you do! We frequently call each other over to see the silly thing one of the pandas is doing – usually the twins having a raucous play session or Yang Yang getting really into a good itch on a log.
Michelle E.
Keeper III, Mammals
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:33 pm

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Heather R
June 26, 2020
In my 14-plus years as a member of the Panda Care Team at Zoo Atlanta, I have never worked a day in June where the pandas have been in the outdoor habitats all day. Usually, in June, it’s too warm by the time we arrive in the morning for them to go outside at all. We had a couple of days last week when the temperatures were cool enough for the pandas to spend the entire day outside. It’s my observation that the pandas don’t really mind if they are inside or outside as long as they have good quality bamboo; however, it did seem like a nice change of scenery for them to be outdoors during a season that they usually only experience inside.
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores
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^ click bigger ~ Po's Twins Bao Mei and Bao Ge, 1 year old today, at the Chengdu Panda Base :rh: after clicking to view click return arrow top left back to post
Heather R
July 6, 2020
It’s a special day for the Panda Care Team because Po’s twins are 1 today! :cake: If you’re new to the Atlanta pandas, Po :grhug: was Lun Lun Lun’s third and first female cub. She was born Nov. 3, 2010, and lived with Lun Lun until she was weaned in spring 2013. She moved to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where her parents were born, in May 2014. At the Panda Base, she is known as A Bao or Bao Lan, to differentiate her from another Po who lives there. In summer 2019, Po experienced her first pregnancy, and on July 6, gave birth to twins, a male and a female! Po’s cubs were the heaviest set of twins at birth on record at 211 grams and 209 grams! The average weight of a single newborn panda is 150 grams, and twins are usually lighter. While Lun Lun’s and Yang Yang’s sons have both sired cubs, Po is the first of their offspring to rear her own cubs. They’re the second generation of mother-reared cubs and are a testament to Lun Lun’s excellent maternal care. I was just a few feet away when Po was born, and as one of her former caregivers, I’m so proud of her, our panda program, and our partnership with the Chengdu Research Base. On this special day, we have an exclusive update from James Ayala, one of the staff at the Base:
“Po is an amazing first-time mother. As mom to the twin cubs with the heaviest birth weight in the world, she literally has her paws filled nursing them. She has always had a great appetite. Although she did not really like our local ‘panda bread’ when she first arrived, she now loves it and is even more excited that it is bamboo shoot season! Eating these foods is the best way for her to keep her calories high for feeding her cubs. Bao Ge, the male cub, is more outgoing and more interested in wrestling with his mom, while Bao Mei, the female cub, is more inclined to observe her mom and brother’s play from the safety of her favorite tree. When feeling less introverted, Bao Mei will join in the play and chaos ensues. Po and her cubs are a shining example of the successful collaboration between the Panda Base and Zoo Atlanta to conserve giant pandas.”
(photo by Cui Kai)
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:01 pm

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Amanda D.
July 8, 2020
Giant pandas have a powerful jaw structure that helps them break the tough exterior of bamboo. Their jaw muscles are attached at the sagittal crest at the tops of their heads, which is what allows them to have such a strong jaw force. Giant pandas also have some unique features regarding their dentition compared with other members of the carnivore family. In “The Carnivores” by R.F. Ewer, the author states that giant pandas have an “elaboration of the crushing features..” with “broad, flat molars” and a jaw that allows for more “sideways grinding” compared with other carnivores. He adds that “the posterior premolars are [also] important. In bears, the emphasis on the molars is greater, and the premolars are more reduced”. These dental traits seen in giant pandas are adaptations that result in why they are such chompy chewers!
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals

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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:05 pm

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Michelle E.
July 10, 2020
On Tuesday, I was able to work in the giant panda building for the first time since March, and it was SO great to see the pandas again! As part of our efforts toward social distancing, we have been limiting the number of care team members working in each area. I have been working solely on the meat-eating side of the Carnivore Department. However, the fates aligned for me to be needed in the panda area Tuesday, and I am so happy they did! Being a Swing Keeper, I expect to have periods of not seeing some of the animals I care for, but four months was an especially long time to be away!
Sadly, I missed all of bamboo shoot season, but working with arrow bamboo feels surprisingly similar. Instead of big, leafy piles to pick up as we have with henon or yellow groove bamboo, the pandas typically leave behind shreds of arrow bamboo in big piles which are easy to scoop into a waste container. Lun Lun especially has been a big fan of the arrow bamboo lately. But since they are pandas, that could change at any moment! Thankfully we have a fantastic Bamboo Team always on the lookout for the next bamboo option for our picky pandas!
Michelle E.
Keeper III, Mammals
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Amanda D.
July 13, 2020
As you probably recall reading from past panda updates, when Yang Yang is feeling playful, the Panda Care Team can do things like play-chase where we run on our side of the mesh (there’s always a protective barrier between us and a bear), as well as tug-of-war (which always results in Yang winning, of course). Prior to and during these play sessions, Yang Yang will grab his pseudo-thumb and shake his head, which communicates to us that he is feeling playful. The other day while he was in one of the behind-the-scenes den areas, Shauna and I offered him a half plastic barrel filled with ice and produce as enrichment. Typically, water play is a natural behavior observed in giant pandas during breeding season, but Yang Yang has been known to exhibit this behavior outside of breeding season. By utilizing enrichment devices like the half plastic barrel or tubs, we can offer the pandas a novel and creative way to elicit this natural behavior. Sure enough, we caught Yang Yang attempting to sit in the half barrel and roll around in the ice, which was a hilarious sight to see – check out a video on our social networks later today!
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Yang Feeling Playful Today With The Blue Jolly Ball ~ 7/19/20
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:00 pm

Video of Yang Yang playing in ice :cold1: as reported in 7/13 update above ^ ~ turn on sound
:vid: 25 seconds https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/299556837854416/ :giggle:
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:40 pm

Photos from ZA facebook videos above
7-20-20 xi lun eating on ya.jpg
^ Xi Lun reclining on sleeping Ya Lun to eat boo ~ click bigger ~ after clicking to view click return arrow top left back to post
7-20-20 yang in ice.jpg
^ Yang playing in ice ~ click bigger ~ after clicking to view click return arrow top left back to post
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:34 pm

:vid: 25 second play video = rolling in pine shavings= https://twitter.com/i/status/1267562168381313025 From a June 1st update, I just found and added up above with May 18th update ^
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Danica W
July 22, 2020
It’s National Zoo Keeper Week! As you have probably seen on Zoo Atlanta social media recently, this week is about appreciating the hard work of animal care professionals and promoting the occupation as a whole. While I am lucky to get to work with a ton of great Animal Care Team members here at Zoo Atlanta, I spend 95% of my days with the other Panda Care Team Primary Keepers, Heather and Amanda. The three of us spend almost all of our time with the giant pandas, making sure they have everything they need. We all have varying degrees of experience, and each bring something different to the team. Heather has been working with the giant pandas for 14 years and knows Lun Lun and Yang Yang extremely well. We rely on her knowledge as our Senior Keeper to problem-solve and make sure we’re adjusting to the pandas’ ever-changing diet and behavioral needs. Amanda, while the newest member of our team, has hit the ground running and her love for the animals and enthusiasm to learn is very clear in everything she does. We all get to collaborate and enjoy watching Ya Lun and Xi Lun grow, celebrate each other’s success, and cringe together when the pandas go through an entire bundle of bamboo they don’t like (while making sure to break and make a mess out of it ) in a matter of seconds. I appreciate both of them and their willingness to accept my antics, which are included but not limited to dance breaks, hiding behind doors and jumping out at them, and pretending to talk for Yang Yang in a thick southern accent. Happy National Zoo Keeper Week, Panda Peeps!
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
❤ ❤
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Danica W
July 20, 2020
Whoops! Giant pandas are the masters of falling off of things. When I first started taking care of the pandas, I was very surprised at how something so big could fling itself to the ground at full speed, and get up and do it over and over again. Actually, a lot of times when giant pandas are “falling” off of things, it’s completely intentional. You can tell by their body language and demeanor when falling isn’t quite what they had planned, but they’re built for bouncing right back up. Falling is part of their play routine, and if you watch the twins on PandaCam, you know that jumping and falling off of things is Ya Lun’s signature wresting move. I recently caught a clip from PandaCam that I don’t think was entirely what Xi Lun had planned for her tire swing time, but Ya Lun took it as an opportunity to get the upper hand during their wrestling match. Check out the clip on our social networks later today.
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals
:vid: :faint: 18 seconds https://twitter.com/i/status/1285317872756105223
Masters of Falling Off of Things~I don’t think was entirely what Xi Lun had planned for her tire swing time
(from video above ^)
7-20-20 za-xi lun on swing fall.jpg
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by JudyB » Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:56 pm

Thanks, queenie - I love the video of the one falling off the swing and the other one sliding down. :love:

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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:35 pm

Thank you Judy, they sure know how to have fun. They are so playful and so is there Daddy Yang, and so smart, he is intently trying to figure out/& working on wrapping himself and moving this firehose ribbon enrichment to the other side of structure. :rh: :woohoo:
:vid: 7/24/20~Yang Playing With Firehose Ribbon Toy~6.36 Min. https://youtu.be/dUt0Uk1IfkE
Daddy Yang Yang is playing with, and almost trying to figure out his firehose enrichment toy on top of the structure. He works so intently and tries to move it different places, like a tug-of-war with it at the end, etc., wearing himself a bit, it seemed. He has always been so playful, interesting and enjoyable to observe.
7-24-20 yang and ribbon toy.jpg
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:45 pm

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Amanda D.
July 27, 2020
Hello Panda Fans! I know I recently shared an update about Yang and how playful he’s been, but I figured nobody would mind another story about him having fun and being silly. Like I mentioned previously, the Panda Care Team can interact with Yang Yang by doing a training session when he’s behind the scenes, along with playing with him (always through a barrier, of course) before we shift him to another space. Recently, I caught him having some fun with the hanging firehose enrichment that we had attached to the structure. He climbed up top and then would hang upside down, grabbing and biting at the firehose. The next morning as soon as he woke up he went back up to the structure and started playing with it again – dropping down from the perch and running around the dayroom. Even though Yang is 22, he doesn’t act like it. It’s a nice reminder that you’re never too old to have some fun. Be sure to check out a video on our social networks later today!
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals
q. here is an update talking about the firehose ribbons I made the video in above post ^, he is so playful, I put a collage of Yang playing with a blue jollyball above a few posts ago and then saw him playing with another blue enrichment rubber toy the size of a book, sort of, I may find and put on~a series of precious Panda Yang. He has always somersaulted and played with so many toys like their string of pearls, etc. :hug:
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:30 pm

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Michelle E.
July 29, 2020
The pandas were able to try a new scent recently: smoked paprika. As it turns out, they love it! The first time the twins received it, they self-anointed for about five minutes, much longer than a usual scent holds their attention. Today we put smoked paprika inside a culvert in their dayroom, and they had a blast rolling around in the culvert, getting the smell all over themselves. Lun Lun isn’t as excited about it, but Yang Yang is in favor of using it for its original purpose – he licks it! He’ll also self-anoint after he’s licked it a bit, but it seems he likes the flavor as much as the smell itself. It’s always fun to bring in something new for the pandas to explore!
Michelle E.
Keeper III, Mammals

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Amanda D.
August 3, 2020
Here you’ll see Ya Lun sitting in a special training space. This structure is very helpful because it is mobile, allowing us to pull the bears out into the hallway to do ultrasounds, voluntary injections, or just to get a closer look at them. First, the Panda Care Team will ask for the individual to enter the space, and then we will ensure that the bear is calm and is safely secure before moving the device. This training area is beneficial in a lot of ways, such as when the pandas need their vaccines. Making sure each panda feels comfortable in this space is vital, so staying on top of this training is very important. Ya Lun did great with her training session earlier, and even spent some time in the space eating bamboo and some of her leafeater biscuits. Since she did such an awesome job, we rewarded her with a favorite treat – frozen sugarcane!
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:33 pm

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Danica W
August 5, 2020
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that life has been crazy this year. While we are all adjusting to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve found it really important to make time for at least one thing that makes me smile every day. Luckily, working with the giant pandas usually offers way more than one chance for smiles each day. Yang Yang has been playful and the girls have been in almost constant wrestling mode. Lun Lun has been prioritizing eating bamboo above all else, so I took some time to give her some enrichment she hadn’t had in a while. This girl LOVES pine shavings, and it was the longest non-food related activity I had seen her partake in for a few days. If you need your reason to smile today, check out a video on our social networks later today!
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals

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Amanda D.
August 11, 2020
In today’s update I thought I’d share with you an overview of what a typical day looks like as a member of the Panda Care Team. When the first team member arrives in the morning they check on each bear. For the first half hour it’s just one keeper, so this time is spent feeding the bears who are up and ready for some fresh bamboo. The opening team member also gets weights on the bears and starts the cleaning routine. Once the next keeper arrives, we can start shifting or moving bears around to different spaces. Throughout the day we will also fit in training sessions and play sessions. As you know from recent updates, Yang Yang has been very playful lately and has really been enjoying spending time behind the scenes with the Panda Care Team. Most of the afternoon consists of bringing each bear in to service the dayroom or dens that they were in and provide fresh bamboo and enrichment. If we have some extra free time, we can work on extra projects too. For closing routine, one keeper will weigh out overnight bamboo for each bear. The adults have been averaging 18 kilograms overnight, while Xi Lun and Ya Lun are currently getting around 35 kilograms. At the end of the day, we get a second weight on each bear. Sometimes their weight can fluctuate up to 20 pounds in a day depending on how much they’ve eaten! We record these weights and other updates or notes from the day in our daily log. Finally, we set up the dayrooms and den spaces for overnight so that each bear has enough until we’re back the next morning!
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:36 pm

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Heather R
August 17, 2020
No matter how many times I watch Lun Lun eat bamboo, I’m always impressed by her focus, skill, strength, and efficiency as she eats. We often call her “the Bamboo-Eating Machine” and she really is! She can plow through 10 kilograms of bamboo in less than an hour. Lun Lun is also a bit less picky about the bamboo than Yang Yang and her offspring. This week, we had some Arrow bamboo that none of the pandas were eating, except Lun Lun. The pandas usually prefer to eat the stems of Arrow bamboo and rarely eat the leaves; however, Lun Lun didn’t like the stems of this Arrow, so she improvised and ate the leaves instead. I believe Lun Lun learned to be adaptable once she had cubs to care for. She also honed her speed and efficiency in eating after becoming a mom. She never knew when her cub (or cubs) would need her, so she had to take care of herself as quickly as possible. Also, once the cubs were older, they would try to take her food for themselves. Yang Yang has the luxury of taking his time and being choosy about his food because he has never had to devote time caring for offspring. Now that Lun Lun is retired from having cubs, she has retained those eating habits that she picked up as a mom and continues to be our resident Bamboo-Eating Machine.
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores
(photo by Heather R.)
q. I believe Mama Lun Lun is looking at Heather in the update, with such a sweet/pretty face :hug: & like it says she sure was so devoted in caring for her 7 cubs, as all panda Moms seem to be Speaking of Mamas Mei Xiang is on cubby watch and they say it can be anytime- see video at National Zooviewtopic.php?f=52&t=119&p=371220#p371220


:rh: “Mama Lun the Bamboo-Eating Machine”
8-20 za bamboo eating machine.jpg
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:47 pm

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=119&p=371569#top

We have a new Cubby :rh: :pan: :grhug: Congratulations Mei Xiang & National Zoo
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Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:27 pm

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Danica W
August 21, 2020
The training we do at Zoo Atlanta is all based around the animals having the opportunity and choice to participate in their own health care. By asking the animals to present different portions of their bodies, we are able to train for behaviors such as eye and shoulder presents, blood draws, and quick dental checks. The giant pandas are highly food-motivated animals (surprising, I know), so they are usually very eager to participate in training and spend some time with their Care Team. Here you can see me training Yang Yang for some of the basic behaviors he and Lun Lun both know that help us visually check them every day. Again, this helps them help us make sure they are nice and healthy without having to use anesthesia for every checkup. For example, Yang Yang takes quite a long time to chew, so the sessions aren’t super fast-paced. If you have ever observed a training session, the whistle noise you hear is called a “bridge,” and it signals to Yang Yang that he has completed the behavior I’ve asked him for, and that a reward is coming soon. I love training with the giant pandas because it’s a nice way to spend some productive time with them one on one.
Check out our social networks later today for a video!
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals
:vid: 57 seconds ZA Training Video with sound https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/ ... 528682413/
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:12 pm

Happy Birthday :cake: Lovely Mama Lun Lun :rh: 8/25/20 ~ :pan: 23 years old today
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Amanda D.
August 24, 2020
Although Lun Lun:rh:is 22 (turning 23 tomorrow!) and is no longer breeding, female giant pandas can still undergo something known as a pseudopregnancy (or “false pregnancy”). During this time, Lun Lun is experiencing hormonal changes, but she has also been showing a few behavioral signs that indicate to us that she has entered pseudopregnancy. Right now Lun is sleeping more often and not eating as much. While we always try to provide the bears with the option to spend time in different spaces, Lun is choosing to spend most of her time in our behind-the-scenes den spaces right now where she also has the option of spending time in an off-habitat outdoor space connected to one of the dens. While her activity levels are low right now (a perfectly normal response while undergoing pseudopregnancy), when she is up and about, Lun likes to spend some time nest building so the Panda Care Team makes sure to offer her nesting materials like hay and browse.
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:43 pm

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Amanda D.
August 28, 2020
During the summer, the giant pandas spend time in our climate-controlled dayrooms and behind-the-scenes den spaces, but recently we had some cooler mornings, which meant that the Panda Care Team was able to give the pandas access to the outdoor habitats. Having the option to use the outdoor habitats was nice because it meant we could change up their environment by moving them to a space that we haven’t been able to use in a while. Last week, Danica and I decided to provide Yang Yang the option of having access to both a dayroom and one of the outdoor habitats. He spent a good amount of time outside foraging for leafeater biscuits, hanging out on the structure, walking around, and investigating new smells, before deciding to come back into the dayroom to eat some yellow groove bamboo before taking a long nap.
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Michelle E.
August 31, 2020
Birthday season is in full swing here in PandaLand! We celebrated Lun Lun’s 23rd birthday last week with some fun enrichment. This Thursday, September 3, we have special surprises for the twins’ 4th birthday, and next week on September 9, we’ll be honoring Yang Yang as he turns 23. All these birthdays mean a lot of preparation of enrichment by the Panda Care Team. There are boxes and banners to paint, scents to select (for the hay inside the boxes), and layers upon layers of ice “cakes” with panda-approved decorations to create. Every year it’s a fun challenge to outdo the previous year’s birthdays and think of new ways to enrich the pandas! And the best part is that after all that work, after cleaning the overnight messes and setting up the dayroom with birthday enrichment, we get to watch the pandas enjoy it! Seeing enrichment be successful with animals is one of the greatest joys of working at the Zoo. Thankfully, we’re able to share that fun with you, too! We hope you’ll join us to watch Ya Lun and Xi Lun receive their birthday enrichment this Thursday, September 3, at 10 a.m. EST on our social media networks.
Michelle E.
Keeper III, Mammals
(photo by Danica W.)
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Michelle E.
September 2, 2020 September 3 Twins Birthday :cake: :cake:
:vid: 2 minutes of cakes & party https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/ ... 2756/?t=19
Happy Birthday, Ya Lun and Xi Lun! The only giant panda twins in the U.S. are 4 today! The Panda Care Team packed the twins’ dayroom area with special birthday enrichment, including ice “cakes” shaped as the numeral 4, sugarcane “candles” with sweet potato “flames,” and birthday boxes filled with favorite treats such as leafeater biscuits, apples, bananas, and sweet potatoes.
Giant pandas are cute; we know that for a fact. However, after establishing the high level of cuteness present, the giant panda’s black-and-white coat is often the first thing we notice about them. And yet we still don’t know for sure why they have their distinctive coloration! A 2017 paper published in the journal Behavioral Ecology analyzed almost 200 species of terrestrial carnivores to try to understand possible correlations in coat color patterns. They confirmed what many have assumed or studied in the past: Animals that live in snowy environments seem to benefit from having light-colored coats to blend in with the snow, and animals in forest environments are often dark to hide in shady areas. Since giant pandas are technically carnivores that eat only bamboo, they are unable to store up enough fat to hibernate through the winter, making them active year-round. For some of the year, the black areas of their fur camouflage them in the dense, leafy bamboo forest, and in the winter their white fur helps them hide in snowy mountains. The paper also had some interesting insights on the color of their ears and eye spots, which we’ll talk about more in a future update!
Paper citation: Tim Caro, Hannah Walker, Zoe Rossman, Megan Hendrix, Theodore Stankowich, Why is the giant panda black and white?, Behavioral Ecology, Volume 28, Issue 3, 01 May-June 2017, Pages 657–667, https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arx008
P.S. Be sure to tune in to Zoo Atlanta Facebook and Instagram[size=140] tomorrow (Thursday, September 3) at 10 a.m., when we’ll be celebrating Ya Lun’s and Xi Lun’s 4th birthday! I hope you will join us![/size]
Michelle E.
Keeper III, Mammals
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:52 pm

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Michelle E.
September 4, 2020
When Lun Lun is experiencing a pseudopregnancy (as a reminder, a pseudopregnancy is not an actual pregnancy but is a condition that closely mimics pregnancy), she chooses to stay in her behind-the-scenes dens. We often give her the choice to go out into the dayrooms or habitats, but she ignores the open doors. The last couple of years, she has spent most of her time in the maternity den, making a bamboo and hay nest and sleeping in it, as she has been so accustomed to doing with all seven of her cubs. However, this year, in addition to nest-building in her maternity den, she has been sleeping in an outdoor patio that is adjacent to her dens. She has spent more time on the patio during this pseudopregnancy than she has in the dens. The patio might look boring and bare, but Lun Lun is loving it right now! The last time that Lun Lun spent this much time on the patio was during her pregnancy with her third cub, Po. Lun Lun was pregnant with Po in the autumn, so the outdoor temperatures were perfect for pandas. Even though it is warm outside right now, the patio is mostly shaded and the concrete floor stays cool, which is why she can enjoy time out there despite late August/early September temperatures.
Michelle E.
Keeper III, Mammals
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Danica W
September 9, 2020 Yang's birthday video of birthday cake & party
:vid: 30 seconds https://twitter.com/i/status/1303793200407162880
What a panda-rific day it's been! Today has been all about our birthday boy, Yang Yang (which is perfectly justifiable), :cake:
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but to round out the pandapalooza, here's Danica W. with an update on some time she spent with Lun Lun. Enjoy! #ZAPandas #OnlyZooATL (video by Danica W.)
This morning when I came in to work, all of the giant pandas were asleep except for Lun Lun. As you have probably read in recent updates, Lun Lun’s pseudopregnancy means that she has been choosing to spend a lot of time behind the scenes resting. She woke up right as I came in, so I spent the first part of my morning sitting outside of her den and just spending some time with her. I always love spending these quiet moments with the pandas before the day gets busy. She was still pretty sleepy, so I gave her time to wake up and then offered her some fresh bamboo and leafeater biscuits. When I got up to walk away, she gave me a look that very clearly read “wait, where are you going?” I have been off of work the last week, and all of the pandas know I’m a pushover, so of course the answer to Lun’s Lun’s question was the freezer. I went straight to the freezer, grabbed Lun Lun a banana, and spent a little more time with her before I got the day started.
Check out a video on our social networks! 32 seconds Mama Lun eating the frozen banana :hug:
:vid: https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/ ... 215691767/
Keeper II, Mammals
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:32 pm

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Amanda D.
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Amanda D.
September 14, 2020
The Panda Care Team is in constant communication with our Bamboo Team providing them with information such as what species of bamboo the bears are preferring that day, whether they are leafing or culming the bamboo, amongst other things. This helps the Bamboo Team decide on what sites to harvest at and what species to focus on collecting that day. Currently, we are offering the giant pandas a few species: yellow groove (phyllostachys aureosulcata), bambusoides (phyllostachys bambusoides), and henon (phyllostachys nigra). We have just started offering bambusoides, which so far, seems to be a hit. Right now, the giant pandas aren’t eating as much and they have been mostly leafing the bamboo more than culming, but as we enter fall their appetites will increase and they’ll go back to culming more.
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
Member since: 08/16/06 with Previous Posts: 4386

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queenie
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Posts: 379
Joined: Feb 14, 2018
Location: The Heartland, USA

Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:24 pm

2020-09-21_211353.jpg
^ click 2X biggest, then go to return arrow on top left screen, back to post
Danica W
September 21, 2020
With the cooler weather we have been able to give the giant pandas more frequent access to their outdoor habitats. Giant pandas’ thick and dense fur makes the Georgia summer heat and humidity a little too steamy for them to be comfortable. We’ve also been giving the giant pandas more frequent access to the habitats when it’s raining, as well. They still have access to an indoor dayroom or behind-the-scenes area, but this way the pandas can choose if they’d like to explore in the rain or spend their time inside. On a particularly cool but sunny day last week, Yang Yang was being very playful so we grabbed the bubble machine and had fun watching him chase the bubbles around while soliciting attention from his Care Team. Such a goof!
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals
Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? ~ ASV Matt. 6:26
Member since: 08/16/06 with Previous Posts: 4386

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