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 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:56 pm

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Megan H.
February 24, 2021
If you follow our panda updates regularly, you may have some familiarity with our “bamboo chronicles.” Giant pandas can be very picky about what bamboo they choose to eat. This is with good reason, as bamboo itself can take a lot of energy to eat and digest. There are around 200 species of bamboo that grow here in Georgia, but the Zoo’s bears regularly only eat about six or seven of those species. Luckily, there are many people who offer to donate the bamboo on their land. The Zoo has an awesome team of bamboo specialists that travel around the Atlanta area and harvest bamboo for the pandas. They help ensure that we maintain a good supply of what the pandas will eat. As bamboo is harvested, sometimes we must give bamboo stands ample time to grow back before we can cut from the same site again. Because of this, we rotate what species are given based on several factors that include availability and time of year.
This week, we were able to get a species of bamboo known to us as “Bissetii” (Phyllostachys bissetii). This species has not been offered for a few years, so we weren’t sure how well everyone would eat it. For now, all the bears seem to love it! When we clean up after the pandas, we remove any bamboo they rejected and rate how well they ate to help us determine what type of bamboo to offer them again. Some of the times we’ve cleaned lately, it looks like the bamboo went through a shredder. When there are very few whole pieces left to take out, it’s safe to say they’re eating it well! It’s always a good feeling for us when we have bamboo that gets a big “pseudothumbs up” from the pandas.
(photo by Megan H.)
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
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^ click 2X biggest ~ after clicking to view click return arrow top left back to post ~ 3/1/21 Mama Lun & Daddy Yang enjoying “Bissetii” boo, too :rh:
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 Apr 04, 2021 10:58 pm

~~~~~~~~ :grhug: H a p p y :hooray: E a s t e r ! :cloud9:~~~~~~~
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Michelle E.
March 31, 2021
As you’ve likely read in our recent panda updates, March marked breeding season for the giant pandas. Even though Lun Lun and Yang Yang are not breeding, we’ve still seen many natural behavioral changes. One change that is really interesting to me is that Lun Lun has become incredibly vocal! Usually Yang Yang is the only one who bleats for attention, but lately Lun Lun has been bleating all day long. We are used to Yang Yang’s vocalizations, so it is fascinating to hear the difference in tenor between the two individuals. Hers are a little quieter, and there’s a distinctive change in tone between their two “voices” that I can’t quite describe. However, the pandas could probably tell you all about it! In the wild, bleating is used to let other giant pandas know you’re nearby and perhaps ready to mate. In a study, researchers discovered that giant pandas can recognize another panda’s individual bleat at about 20 meters away, and at 10 meters they can use that bleat to determine the sex of the other panda!
Citation: Charlton, B.D., Owen, M.A., Keating, J.L. et al. Sound transmission in a bamboo forest and its implications for information transfer in giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) bleats. Sci Rep 8, 12754 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31155-5
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 » Mon May 10, 2021 1:47 pm

H a p p y ~ Belated ~ M o t h e r s' :rh: D a y
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Mama Lun :rh: is visiting with her Cubs through the howdy window for Mother's Day, kind of jumps :huggie: at it, then lies down for quite awhile against the window~~~then gets a thick bamboo put through the window and sort of falls back under it and eats.
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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 10, 2021 4:16 pm

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Trish J.
May 10, 2021
Check out these sleeping beauties! Ya Lun and Xi Lun took a midday nap on their outdoor habitat structure. Lately, they’ve been chowing down on bamboo shoots, which are packed with nutrients and can be very filling. Sometimes the best cure for a stuffed belly is a good long nap.
(photo: Heather R.)
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Trish J.
May 5, 2021
All animals at Zoo Atlanta receive enrichment on a daily basis. We have a very robust Zoo-wide program for enrichment, which allows animals to demonstrate their species-specific behaviors while exercising choice over their activities.
Over at the red panda habitat, I put Jackie’s midday snack into a Kong ball. My goal was to solicit a manipulation-type of behavior, which is a natural behavior for red pandas in the wild. This type of behavior would likely be seen by red pandas manipulating bamboo to get to the best and most nutritious leaves, or even manipulating prey that they caught.
In this case, Jackie used his claws and paws to work the leafeater biscuits and fruit out of his Kong feeder. He worked at his feeder until he got all of his treats out and seemed to really enjoy the process.
(photo: Trish J.)
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
:vid: https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/ ... 810/?t=18 < 40 seconds = Jackie loves the shoots too.
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Eating Boo Together, Then Ya Lun Got Full, & Xi Lun Smelled, Broke & Ate More Boo
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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 » Mon May 10, 2021 6:12 pm

Such cute pictures - thanks for bringing these reports here, queenie! :love:

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

Post by queenie » Tue May 11, 2021 10:27 am

Judy, Thank you, they are adorable & happy pandas!
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Megan H.
April 30, 2021
Did you hear it’s bamboo shoot season? In recent panda updates, we’ve shared that we have been offering bamboo shoots to the giant pandas now that shoots are becoming more available. However, the giant pandas aren’t the only ones to benefit from this time. Jackie the red panda gets shoots too! He likes shoots so much that he spits out one of his leafeater biscuits mid-bite so that he can munch on the shoot. Like giant pandas, red pandas have a pseudothumb to help them grasp bamboo. Jackie does an excellent job demonstrating the use of his pseudothumb as he holds on to his shoot while he eats!
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
May 5th Photos by ZA = Jackie
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Adrianna L.
April 28, 2021
Hey everyone, it’s me again, Adrianna. One of your Swing Mammal Keepers! It has been a hot second since I have been over with the other side of the Carnivore Team, and boy, did I miss these giant pandas! It has only been a month or so, but so much has changed, especially landscape wise! Last time I was here the flowers hadn’t bloomed yet and the trees were bare, but now, BOOM, flowers! All day, I could not stop admiring how handsome Yang Yang was surrounded by flowers in his habitat! The bears are still enjoying their time outside, but as it starts to get warmer, they will start spending their time inside, where it is cooler – similarly to their counterparts in China, who would start going up mountains where it is much cooler. Luckily, when you come to visit you will still be able to see Yang Yang’s handsome face in his dayrooms, so be sure to stop by!
(photo: Adrianna L.)
Adrianna L.
Swing 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 May 11, 2021 10:32 am

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Megan H.
April 21, 2021
Now that I have been on the Panda Care Team for a few months and am feeling more comfortable with the routine, I am able to start learning other things. One of those things has been training with the bears. Each of the Zoo’s adults, Yang Yang and Lun Lun, know about 30 different behaviors, so I have begun the process of developing my training relationship with them and learning what each of those behaviors entails. All the training done here at Zoo Atlanta uses positive reinforcement. What this essentially means is that when we ask for a behavior, if the animal completes that behavior correctly, they will get something in return as reinforcement. We typically use food in our case as pandas are particularly food motivated, but if working with other animals, reinforcement can be anything from treats to their favorite toy or even scratches for a species where that’s appropriate (think petting your dog for good behavior). In addition, these training sessions are completely voluntary. If the animals do not feel like participating or completing a certain behavior, that is absolutely okay. If we ask for a behavior and they do not do it, we can try to ask again, we can ask for a different behavior, or we can simply move on or end the session if need be.
Since the adult giant pandas have been doing these behaviors for many years now, they are very familiar with their training and what each of their behaviors should look like. Because they are also incredibly smart, they have been known to try to “cheat” with new team members. They know we do not have as much experience training with them, and they will try to see where they can cut corners with some of their behaviors to see if we will let them get away with more. I have started my training by working with Yang Yang, because he tends to be a little slower-paced during his training sessions than Lun Lun, and he can be a bit more forgiving if I slip up. However, he is still keeping me on my toes during a few of these sessions. For example, one of the behaviors we can ask for is for him to present his eye to the mesh so that we can inspect the eyes or even administer eye drops if need be. On a few occasions that I have asked for this behavior, he has only presented his cheek to the mesh, rather than his entire eye. I think he is hoping that I will still reinforce him for not quite doing the whole behavior, but this is one of the things that I have to look for when I am training with him, as it is not technically the correct behavior. The more I am training with him, the more comfortable we have gotten with each other, as I am getting the hang of his training a little more and he’s catching on that I won’t be too much of a pushover. These sessions are always very fun for me and I enjoy “seeing the wheels turn” as the bears work through a session. I think it’s also safe to say that Yang Yang enjoys them too as he gets to spend some time with us and get some of his favorite treats at the same time.
In honor of my recent training progress with Yang Yang, enjoy this throwback picture of the actual first time I ever trained with him way back when I was an intern!
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Trish J.
April 19, 2021
Although they are solitary animals, giant pandas do have a few vocalizations that they use to communicate with one another, and sometimes even with their keepers. A giant panda’s most frequently used vocalization is called a bleat. It might sound more like a goat than a bear, but bleating is a panda’s basic contact call. Yang Yang is Zoo Atlanta’s most vocal panda; he communicates frequently with his care team and is quick to let us know when he has finished his bamboo and would like more. Giant pandas also moan, bark, huff, and honk, and each of these sounds are distinctive and are used for different reasons.
Pandas have other means of communication as well, specifically scent-marking. They use their scent glands under their tails to mark their surroundings. Amazingly, details such as sex, age, reproductive status, and more can be determined from just one scent mark! This is extremely useful in marking territory and/or finding a potential mate.
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Michelle E.
April 16, 2021
It’s a wonderful time to be a giant panda in Atlanta! The Bamboo Team has been cutting arrow bamboo lately, which the pandas adore. And even better, shoot season has begun! We’re not feeding exclusively shoots yet, but as the growing season continues, we will be able to find more and more of those delicious freshly-sprouted bamboo stalks. Right now, the pandas are receiving a few shoots a day in addition to their main diet of arrow bamboo. With both arrow and shoots, the pandas completely pulverize their food, leaving behind huge piles of shards or, in the case of shoots, almost no mess at all! This photo is of Yang Yang with shards of arrow bamboo on his belly (covered by his arm) and surrounding him on the ground. He was eating nonstop this morning, which means it will be time for a long panda nap! What a life!
Michelle E.
Keeper III, Mammals
(photo: Michelle E.)
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 May 11, 2021 11:02 am

{Past April Updates =
Megan H.
April 7, 2021
We are approaching the most wonderful time of the year here in PandaLand… bamboo shoot season! Every spring, bamboo stands produce what are called shoots. These are the fresh, new sprouts of the plant that emerge from the ground before they harden into the big, tough culms we typically think of when we think of bamboo. When they are beginning to grow, they are very soft and densely packed with nutrients. During shoot season, pandas in the wild will almost exclusively eat shoots. Since the shoots are softer than mature bamboo culms, they require less energy to eat, and since they do contain more nutrients, they are a valuable resource to foraging pandas. For these reasons, our pandas also love them when they are available. We are very fortunate to have many amazing bamboo donors around Atlanta who ensure we always have an ample supply of bamboo to feed the bears. This means we are able to mimic what a giant panda’s natural diet trends would be in the wild by feeding exclusively shoots while they are in season. There are not many shoots out there yet, so we are not yet to the point of actively harvesting them for the pandas. However, while walking around the building over the weekend, we found some small shoots growing near the panda habitats. We took advantage of this and cut a couple to give to each of the pandas (including Jackie!) as a tasty treat. Each of the pandas made sure not to leave a single morsel of their shoots!
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Trish J.
April 9, 2021
Did you know that the red panda was actually discovered 42 years before the giant panda? They are considered the “true” panda or “original” panda and are the only member of their taxonomic family, Ailuridae. They are native to India, Bhutan, Nepal, and China, and reside in the eastern Himalayas at elevations of 5,000-13,000 feet! Red pandas are equipped with sharp, semi-retractable claws, and ankles that rotate 180 degrees for climbing up and down trees; they are perfectly suited for arboreal life.
Red pandas, although considered part of the carnivore order, eat mainly bamboo. Unlike the giant panda, red pandas will never eat the culm (or stalk) of the bamboo. They only eat the leaves and shoots. Bamboo accounts for 98% of the red panda’s diet. It is important to their well-being and overall health that their nutritional needs are met.
This highly specialized diet is one of the reasons it is important to keep these animals out of the illegal pet trade. There are many reasons that red pandas do not make good pets, but without proper care and nutrition, they get sick. It is estimated that there are less than 10,000 and as few as 2,500 red pandas in the wild. Their status is endangered.
Contributing to conservation of the red panda is as easy as being an ecotourist, sharing information about red pandas, and even visiting the ambassadors of their species at accredited zoos.
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Trish J.
April 12, 2021
One of the giant pandas’ most notable characteristics is their black-and-white coloration. This rare coloring is thought to serve two main purposes: the first is camouflage, and the second is communication.
Giant pandas live in the temperate bamboo forests in the mountains of central China. These dense forests create pockets of sunlight and shadow which blend with the white and black colors of the giant pandas. Their white fur is also a perfect camouflage for central China’s snowy winters.
Because giant pandas are solitary, their unique coloration may also serve as a warning to other pandas nearby, allowing them to be seen and avoided.
So next time you see a giant panda, remember how their distinctive fur is actually a remarkable adaptation to their natural habitat and lifestyle.
To highlight that special coloration, enjoy this throwback photo of Xi Lun, taken four years ago this week!
Trish J.
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 May 11, 2021 1:18 pm

5/11/21
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They're back in black-and-white! Many of you have been asking, and now, we're thrilled to say that in-person Giant Panda Wild Encounters are back! Go behind the scenes for an educational exploration of the species and the individuals at Zoo Atlanta, and meet and feed one of the adult bears. Reservations are open for booking now on zooatlanta.org. Make a reservation now or learn more about our updated protocols: https://zooatlanta.org/activity/giant-p ... encounter/
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 » Tue May 11, 2021 2:39 pm

Thanks queenie ! I love coming here ...... the Pamdas make me smile :)

I
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HELPFUL HINTS.......Bev...member since 08/04/09

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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 » Fri May 14, 2021 2:12 pm

Irish Eyes ~ They are so sweet and very funny at times, good for smiling! :grhug: So glad Nat'l Zoo opening May 21st, Mama Mei will be happy to see fans again, and cub Xiao Qi Ji will love getting to see us too!
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 29, 2021 10:17 pm

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Michelle E.
May 28, 2021
We’ve talked before about how Xi Lun and Ya Lun are growing older and more independent. They are four and a half years old now, getting closer to being full-grown, adult pandas who may want their own spaces. As such, we have been offering them more room to explore and the ability to choose to spend time apart if they would like to. During the day we often give them access to multiple habitats or dayrooms at a time and overnight, they are given differing combinations of spaces equivalent to the amount of space given to two adult pandas. However, despite all that room to roam, they most often curl up right next to each other! We are glad that they still seem to enjoy being near one another, and it’s even better knowing that it is their choice to cuddle up instead of seeking out separate sleeping spots!
(photo: Michelle E.)
Michelle E.
Keeper III, Pandas
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q. their closeness is so sweet :huggie:

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Adrianna L.
May 24, 2021
Hey everyone! It’s always an amazing day when the sun is shining and the giant pandas are LOVING their bamboo shoots! I was able to snap a picture of Xi Lun, who just exhibited the essence of “Isn’t it great being a giant panda?” We do work hard to elicit natural feeding behaviors for the bears by standing bamboo up in multiple locations and hiding their leafeater biscuits, but sometimes we will also deliver their food right in front of them from above. We call this “sky food,” and the bears will look longingly up at us waiting for those snacks!
(photo: Adrianna L.)
Adrianna L.
Keeper II, Mammals
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q. I have seen them throw the shoots/boo down off the ridge/cliff over the moat~from the sky :giggle:
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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 Jun 08, 2021 5:43 pm

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Heather R
June 7, 2021
As we recently shared, bamboo shoot season was over for the year last week. It’s never long enough! Sigh. We did have some nice Henon bamboo and Arrow bamboo for them to eat. We also do leafeater biscuit feedings with the pandas to help them transition back to mature bamboo. As we do every year, we will all adjust and move on. There will always be next year!
(photo: Heather R.)
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores
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Trish J.
June 2, 2021
We are officially coming up on the end of bamboo shoot season. Very soon, the pandas will go back to their regular diet of bamboo stalks. Although it appears that they are eating the entire stalk, they are actually eating the softer inner layer of the stalk, called the culm. As the summer approaches, giant pandas tend to transition from eating the bamboo culm to eating bamboo leaves.
Trish J.
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 Jun 29, 2021 9:17 pm

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Trish J.
June 9, 2021
Red panda tongues are very cute, but they also serve an important purpose. Red pandas use their tongues to check out odors and scent marks in their environment. They do this by using an enlarged papillae on the bottom tip of their tongue to carry liquid up to their mouth and test it. They are the only carnivore with this unique adaptation!
(photo: Trish J.)
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Trish J.
June 14, 2021
Happy birthday :cake: to the one-and-only Jackie the red panda! Today we are celebrating his 4th birthday. The care team filled his habitat with enrichment, birthday boxes, and even an ice cake made by Megan H.
His favorite treats were scattered among his enrichment items for him to find. Jackie loves exploring his habitat and is excellent with enrichment. He is sure to always get every last piece of fruit!
Be sure to check out video content on Zoo Atlanta Facebook and Instagram today as we celebrate Jackie and share more on the ways you can help protect his species in the wild.
(photo: Trish J.)
Trish J.
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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queenie
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Tue Jun 29, 2021 9:30 pm

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Megan H.
June 23, 2021
One of my favorite natural behaviors that giant pandas do is something called “self-anointing.” :woohoo: Pandas are very scent-oriented animals. They mark their territories by scent-marking and are quick to investigate any new or unusual smells. It is unclear exactly why they self-anoint, but it is something they do frequently if they find a smell that they are particularly interested in. If they like the smell, they will either roll around in it or rub it all over themselves. As this is a behavior that is natural for them, we can offer the pandas a variety of things to try to encourage them to self-anoint. If you are familiar with our pandas specifically, you may have heard that Tabasco sauce and cinnamon are two of the most “beloved” scents around here. However, we do have many things we can offer to the pandas to encourage this. One of those that can be fun to watch are wood shavings. We offered some shavings to Lun Lun in one of her behind-the-scenes dens recently, and she seemed to absolutely love them. She spent several minutes rolling around in them, scooping them up and rubbing them on her head, and then rolling some more. Be sure to check out a video of that adorable session on Zoo Atlanta Facebook and Instagram later today. Enjoy!
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Megan H.
June 16, 2021
Hopefully you aren’t tired of seeing posts about Jackie’s birthday yet, because I have just one more for you! In case you didn’t see all over the Zoo’s social media networks (or in person), we celebrated Jackie’s 4th birthday on June 14. I think we had just as much fun as Jackie did! He got some of his favorite treats hidden in boxes that Keeper Trish made for him. However, he decided that the boxes weren’t just good at hiding food, but they also made good places to sit in. He even tried to climb into one of the boxes while I was holding it up for him. I also made him an ice “cake” in the shape of a 4 that contained some of his favorite treats. His “cake” consisted of ice that was dyed with food coloring, grapes, and blueberries. As it melted, he was able to dig into it for the fruit, but we also caught him sitting on and scent marking it. I guess red pandas have other ways of enjoying their birthday cakes than humans do. Hopefully you enjoyed following along for Jackie’s big day, and be sure to stay tuned in a few months for the giant pandas’ birthdays that are coming up!
(photo: Megan H.)
Megan H.
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 » Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:40 pm

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Zoo Atlanta
Jun 30

Yang Yang's schedule: Sleep until 10 a.m., eat bamboo, sleep until hungry again, repeat. Hear if you dare about the taxing schedule of a giant panda in today's panda update from Trish J.
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Zoo Atlanta
July 2 at 2:46 PM ·

When everything "old" is "new" again! Hot off the presses, the giant pandas have been trying and enjoying a species of bamboo that isn't exactly new to them. And they still like it! Adrianna L. has more in today's panda update -- read on and enjoy!
Hey everyone! The news around here at pandas is that we are trying out a new/old bamboo species! While there are about 200 species of bamboo here in Georgia, Zoo Atlanta’s giant pandas typically only eat about six or seven of them, due to availability. The “new” species they’ve been enjoying is called black bamboo, so named due to its black culm (stalk). Black bamboo is a subspecies of henon bamboo. We have not had black bamboo in a long time, but all the pandas here are glad it’s back!
And while we’re talking about “new” and “old” – enjoy this throwback photo of the twins, taken three years ago this week – long before bamboo was on their minds!
Adrianna L.
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 » Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:52 pm

:vid: https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/ ... 26/MeganH. 11 second video
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July 7, 2021
Something that never ceases to amaze me is how strong a giant panda’s bite is. A study that was published in the Chinese Journal of Ecology took a look at the bite force of 151 carnivores. And the giant panda ranked number 5, only behind lions, brown bears, tigers, and polar bears. Even though they primarily eat vegetation, they still very much have the teeth of a carnivore. And they definitely have the bite force to back up those teeth. If you have ever come across bamboo in your life, and odds are that most of you probably have, then you would know how strong bamboo as a plant really is. Most of the bamboo we offer to the pandas, I know I would have to work hard at to break at all. And the pandas are able to bite through it like we can bite through a stick of celery. But how are they able to do this? If you watch them while they are eating, you can actually see some of the physiology behind it in action.
When you watch a giant panda chewing, you may be able to see that it looks like its ears wiggle and its eyes seem to move in and out a little while it eats. This is because giant pandas have massive jaw muscles that stretch all the way up their heads and attach between their ears, right at the middle of their heads. If you see what looks like a bump in the middle of the head as a giant panda chews, that is a ridge of bone known as a saggital crest that sits at the top of the skull. This is where those jaw muscles attach. It’s pretty cool to be able watch those muscles work! Next time you are watching the pandas eating, see if you can spot that crest as they chew (or take a look at those big carnivore canine teeth!).
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Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
Zoo Atlanta
July 9 at 2:44 PM
The giant pandas received some festive ice "cakes" over the holiday weekend. Who loved theirs, who decided self-anointing was better, who pawed at theirs and then gave up, and who decided a mere acknowledgment would suffice? Answers in today's panda update from Megan H. Bonus panda points if you can guess before reading! #ZAPandas #OnlyZooATL (photos: Megan H.)
Many of you may know that it is tradition for the pandas to get ice “cakes” for their birthdays every year. However, we sometimes like to give them ice “cakes” at other times, too. This year, they got some festive ice treats for the Fourth of July. The water was dyed blue with nontoxic food coloring and had some apples and bananas frozen in to make them appropriately red, white, and blue (we'll just pretend that the bananas were white). Yang Yang absolutely loved his and worked at it until he got all of his fruit out. Xi Lun decided that she preferred to self-anoint with hers and rubbed it all over her head and chest. Ya Lun thought about trying to get the fruit out and pawed at it a bit before deciding that it was too much effort. And, well, Lun Lun at least acknowledged hers before going off to eat her lunch of bamboo. We keepers certainly had fun watching how each of the bears interacted differently with their special enrichment, and the pandas seemed to enjoy getting something different, too!
--Megan H.
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 » Fri Jul 16, 2021 6:18 pm

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:vid: https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/362291741915957/ 47 seconds Facts About Red Pandas
Trish J.
July 12, 2021
Although giant pandas and red pandas are not closely related, they actually share some cool similarities. The word panda in Nepalese means “bamboo eater.” This is fitting for both species because they exist on a diet of primarily bamboo, so they are both legitimately pandas. They also both have pseudothumbs, an extension of the wrist bone, that is not an actual digit. Both panda species also have scent glands and use scent marking to leave information behind for other pandas.
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
July 12 at 4:54 PM
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Megan H.
July 16, 2021
Things have been pretty “status quo” in PandaLand. The pandas certainly keep us busy throughout the day as we are frequently refreshing their bamboo, cleaning their habitats, setting up enrichment, doing training sessions, or working on other tasks to ensure we are constantly doing the best jobs that we can for them. However, as the summer progresses, we are entering into the pandas’ “slow season.” Things don’t necessarily slow down for us, as there is always something we are working on. Coming out of bamboo shoot season, though, the pandas are eating a little less and napping a lot more. This is pretty typical for them during the warmer months. With the pandas needing things directly from us less frequently, it gives us a bit more freedom to work on other projects that we don’t always get the chance to do. Content bears certainly make for content keepers. If only we could have the summer nap schedule of a panda, too!
(photo: Megan H.)
Megan H.
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 » Fri Sep 17, 2021 6:46 pm

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Megan H.
September 8, 2021
The final panda birthday for the season is coming up this week! Yang Yang, the Zoo’s adult male giant panda, is turning 24 years old tomorrow (September 9). If you are not familiar with Yang Yang, :cake: he is known as the resident goofball. He enjoys interacting with his care team, is generally very interested in participating in training, and can frequently be seen enjoying his enrichment.
24 years old is considered to be older for a panda. In the wild, he would be reaching the height of his life expectancy. However, in a human care setting, pandas can live into their low to mid-thirties as they have a much more reliable supply of food, do not have to deal with threats to their habitats, and have access to superb veterinary care to monitor any health conditions. Yang Yang certainly does not act like he is aging! He never fails to keep our days interesting.
For his birthday, he will be getting an ice “cake” with some of his favorite treats frozen inside along, with some other surprise goodies. Be sure to tune in to Zoo Atlanta’s social networks for video later, and join us in celebrating the big guy a happy birthday this week, whether you are here at the Zoo or celebrating virtually through Zoo Atlanta’s social media outlets!
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Trish J.
September 13, 2021
As mornings have become cooler, the Panda Team has once again been able to set up the outdoor habitats for the pandas. Yesterday, Lun Lun ventured outside and ate some yellow groove bamboo and checked out the habitat.
In the photo, Lun was looking up at us as we tossed down extra bamboo and treats to her. Overall, she had a good day outside.
The giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta are able to have outdoor access as long as the temperature isn’t above 75 degrees. If you’re at the Zoo on a chilly fall morning, be sure to check the panda habitats for the bears!
(photo: Trish J.)
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Yang Yang, the Zoo’s adult male giant panda "Cool Daddy Yang", turned 24 years old September 9, 2021
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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 Sep 17, 2021 7:44 pm

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Megan H.
August 27, 2021
Sometimes, enrichment doesn’t always go according to plan. We often have fun thinking of new creative ways to provide enrichment to the pandas or to go back to enrichment that they may not have had recently. Something we can provide as enrichment is ice. As pandas are well-suited to cold climates, they sometimes enjoy rolling around in ice if we offer it to them. As pandas are also very scent-oriented, they enjoy self-anointing with various smells. Recently, I tried to combine these forms of enrichment by sprinkling cinnamon over ice cubes for Yang Yang to see if he would interact or anoint with it. He did have a very cute moment of sitting in the ice and splashing it around. However, that moment was very short-lived, as he moved on quickly to eat his lunch of bamboo. Oh well, maybe next time – be sure to check out the video on Zoo Atlanta Facebook and Instagram later today!
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Trish J.
August 30, 2021
Red pandas are cold-climate animals that live up in the trees in the Himalayas and Southern China. Here at Zoo Atlanta, red panda Jackie has a couple of options to stay cool during the summer. The first is his air-conditioned box, which is climate-controlled. The second is what we refer to as his “Chill Spot,” a cooling tray placed right under his hut. The cooling tray houses ice packs underneath it, creating a cool spot for Jackie. He seems to enjoy resting on it to take a respite from the summer heat.
(photo: Trish J.)
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
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The Toronto Zoo
@TheTorontoZoo
10h Twitter 9/17/21
Just wanted to let you know Red Panda Day is tomorrow {September 18}


Replying to @TheTorontoZoo
Jackie is so excited to celebrate
https://twitter.com/i/status/1438924332470779917 short gif at Twitter :vid:
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 Sep 17, 2021 8:12 pm

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Sep 3, 2021~A double happy 5th birthday to our favorite panda twins, Ya Lun and Xi Lun! :cake:xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo :pan: :rh: :pan: xoxoxoxoxoxxoxo :cake:
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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 Sep 17, 2021 8:47 pm

cont..... :vid: https://twitter.com/i/status/1433791692558290958 ~29 seconds video
A double happy birthday to our favorite panda twins, Ya Lun and Xi Lun birthday party today!

[ Archived August 2021 Updates ]
Aug 25, 2021~Join us in wishing a *very* happy 24th birthday to Mama Lun Lun! The Panda Team went all out on her birthday goodies. The beautiful mama bear came out to a dayroom full of her favorite things--sound up to hear Megan H. tell us more about her surprises.

:vid: https://twitter.com/i/status/1430628733967343622 ~1.42 min video Mama Lun enjoying her Birthday!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo :pan: :cake: :grhug: xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
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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 Sep 20, 2021 11:57 am

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Trish J.
August 9, 2021Lun Lun recently entered pseudopregnancy, or a false pregnancy, which means that her hormones are telling her she is pregnant, even though she is not. This is a normal process for sexually mature female giant pandas who are not pregnant. During Lun’s pseudopregnancy, she spends a lot of time resting, and has less interest in food than normal.
Team members have noted that she’s been most interested in her diet first thing in the morning. She eats bamboo and some of her supplemental diet (leafeater biscuits and produce) and then spends most of her day napping. It will likely be around a month before her hormones begin to go back to baseline and she starts to come out of her pseudopregnancy.
Lun has contributed to the giant panda population with seven cubs, including the twins who are at Zoo Atlanta currently. She will be 24 years old on August 25, and is now living her best life in retirement.
(photo: Trish J.)
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Trish J.
August 13, 2021
Swing Keeper Adrianna came over to pandas recently and decided to enrich the bears by hanging up their tire swing! We set the swing up in the dayroom for the twins, and then watched them interact with it. The girls ended up playing on it, wrestling on it, reaching for bamboo on it, and of course, they enjoyed swinging on it. It was fun not only for the pandas but also for us. Enjoy the capture from PandaCam!
Trish J.
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 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:01 pm

cont....
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Megan H.
August 16, 2021
Here at Zoo Atlanta, we use positive reinforcement training to work with many of the animals in assisting in their own care. Because giant pandas are bears, we work with them in a protected contact setting to ensure the safety of both the humans and bears involved. This means there is always a barrier between us and the panda. In theory, this could present a challenge in getting a closer look at different parts of their bodies since we can’t necessarily just move see whatever we need to see. However, through training, the pandas allow us to check them out when necessary without any other intervention needed. We can do things like provide eye drops, check their teeth, get voluntary blood draws, or do ultrasounds.
As we have mentioned in previous updates, Lun Lun is currently experiencing a pseudopregnancy. She is not pregnant as she is now retired from breeding, but she does still go through estrus. When female pandas go through estrus without getting pregnant, they almost always experience a pseudopregnancy in which their hormones still fluctuate, and their behavior changes as if they were actually pregnant. During pseudopregnancy, we opportunistically do ultrasounds with Lun Lun just to ensure that everything looks healthy. We use the ultrasound to check her uterus to make sure that all the tissues look normal and that nothing needs any extra attention. This is an excellent example of all the positive reinforcement training at work. Lun Lun tends to be extra sleepy during pseudopregnancy, but she will still come over and participate in training to allow us and our vet staff to check on her.
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Trish J.
August 18, 2021
Recently, I had a guest ask me how big giant pandas are compared to other bears. Although giant pandas are called “giant,” they are actually the second-smallest bear species. The sun bear is considered the smallest bear species, weighing up to 200 pounds. Male giant pandas can weigh up to 300 pounds.
Cool fact: Neither species of bear hibernates! So be sure to check them both out on your next Zoo visit. In the meantime, enjoy this throwback photo of this definitely-not-giant little bear, taken four years ago this week!
(Photo: Heather R.)
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals [end of August archives]
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 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:19 pm

Thank You so Much queenie ..I so love hearing about the Pandas :)
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:43 pm

I appreciate you enjoying them, IrishEyes. They get cuter and more playful the more I know them, such special animals! :rh: :grhug: :pan:
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 Oct 01, 2021 6:46 pm

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Megan H.
September 29, 2021
A question we get asked often is whether a giant panda’s fur is as soft as it looks. Now, as the temperatures are beginning to cool down and we have had quite a bit of rain recently in Georgia, I thought it would be the perfect time to answer that question, as their fur aids them in both of those categories. Before I get into this topic, I would like to point out that we do not ever “pet” the pandas. The only times we touch them are between a protective barrier during training scenarios, when the pandas are voluntarily participating in a positive reinforcement training session. This means they are allowing us to touch them in order for us to take a look at some part of their bodies through training. They do this by pressing their body against the barrier, so we do not have to reach into their space to touch them.
With that being said, the answer is no; giant pandas are actually not very soft at all! Their fur is very dense and wooly. It is also coarse and has a bit of an oily quality to allow for moisture wicking. It is very similar in texture to sheep’s wool. Their native habitats in China are cool, moist mountain forests in high elevations. All these qualities of their fur help protect them from those elements and keep them warm and dry.
Speaking of fur (or lack thereof!), enjoy the throwback photo from way back in September 2016, when getting their characteristic fur was still a future milestone for the twins!
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Heather R
September 27, 2021
Have you ever visited Zoo Atlanta to see Jackie, only to find that he isn’t in his habitat? If you answered yes, you may not have looked up in the tree. Jackie is always in his habitat unless we are doing construction or horticulture work in his area. So, if you are visiting Jackie, don’t forget to look up! Red pandas are arboreal, which means they spend most of their lives in trees. Red pandas are also crepuscular, which means they are most active at dusk and dawn. During daylight hours, Jackie is most likely to be resting in his tree. Sometimes, Jackie enjoys climbing to the highest branches of his tree, so you may have to look really high up in the tree to see him!
(photo: Heather R.)
Heather R.
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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 » Wed Oct 20, 2021 7:31 pm

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Trish J.
October 18, 2021
Recently, Jackie enjoyed a new enrichment toy called a puzzle toss ball. He is usually pretty good at figuring out how his feeder toys work, and this toy was no exception. He immediately starting using his paw to tilt the ball to get his treats out.
It’s always fun to watch Jackie interact with and puzzle through his enrichment!
(photo: Sophie R.)
Trish J.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Megan H.
October 13, 2021
As an animal care professional, the daily husbandry that we provide our animals is one of the most important parts of our jobs. We are responsible for everything from feeding and cleaning, to assisting in their medical care, to ensuring they remain mentally stimulated through positive reinforcement training and enrichment, among so many other things. However, at the Zoo, another important part of our job is educating the public about why the species in our care are so amazing and how we can help them in the wild. I recently had the privilege of speaking at an elementary school career day about these very things.
I was able to talk to some of the next generation of stewards to our wildlife. We discussed what it was like to be an animal care professional, the important roles that zoos play in wildlife conservation, and, of course, all about pandas and what the individuals who call Zoo Atlanta home are like. It was a treat to me to see how excited many of the kids were to talk about wildlife, and I even got some tough questions that many of the adult guests I bump into on Zoo grounds have never asked. This opportunity served as a great reminder to me of why I do what I do, and that this career is so much bigger than myself and the day-to-day tasks that we tend to be so immersed in.
Megan H.
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 Oct 20, 2021 7:37 pm

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Megan H.
October 8, 2021
I have recently been working with the giant pandas on blood draw training. All four of the giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta participate in training to obtain voluntary blood draws. We have a custom-made sleeve insert that can attach to the mesh in some of the dens behind the scenes. In this sleeve, the pandas are able to place their arm into a PVC “cuff” and hold onto a handle with their paw (thanks to their pseudothumbs!).
We are able to use positive reinforcement to give them some of their favorite treats, leafeater biscuits and various produce, while they hold their arm in the sleeve and remain still, and members of the Zoo’s Veterinary Team draw blood. This entire process is completely voluntary, and if the pandas do not feel like participating, they don’t have to. However, they are generally very eager to participate for some treats. We do not actually use a needle or draw blood every time, as many of these sessions are simply for practice.
Because of the training and practice sessions that we do, they know what to expect with this behavior when the time does come to actually draw blood, and it is not a scary thing. This training is incredibly useful because if we ever need to run any tests with blood samples, we are able to get them easily and with minimal stress to the bears. The training the pandas participate in never ceases to amaze me. This is not a new behavior for them, but it is a new one for me to work with them on. Even though I have not done this behavior much with them, they have all participated like rockstars!
Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals
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Michelle E.
October 4, 2021
Today we’re going to take a closer lick – sorry, I mean look – at giant panda tongues! The tongue of each species is specialized to its needs. It determines the taste profile the animals experience, grooming abilities, and is an important part of how they manipulate their food. For example, cat species have large papillae (those spiky projections) with hollow cavities on their tongues that help them groom their fur and lick meat off bones (Noel, 2018).
In 2008, a team of scientists in Spain led by Dr. J. F. Pastor published the results of their examination of a panda tongue using scanning electron microscopy, a method which allowed them to evaluate the types of papillae present on its surface as well as its form. Giant pandas diverged from other bear species around 12 million years ago and their diets have transitioned from carnivorous to herbivorous (Waits, 1999). Because of this long history of divergence and change, giant pandas have tongues that differ from other bear species. For example, Zoo Atlanta’s sun bears often use their long tongues to pick up food and bring it to their mouths, but the giant pandas pick up their food with their paws. Reflecting this, giant panda tongues have lost their efficiency at bringing food to the mouth. Giant panda tongues also have a region with little to no papillae, which scientists hypothesize may be caused by bamboo repeatedly sliding over the same area of the tongue (Pastor, 2008). Overall, the team led by Pastor found that giant pandas have tongues that reflect both carnivoran and herbivorous traits- just like the giant panda! They concluded that the giant panda’s tongue may not be done adapting to its herbivorous tasks and could change further in the future. I guess we’ll just have to wait a few thousand years and see!
Sources:
Pastor, J. F., Barbosa, M., & De Paz, F. J. (2008). Morphological study of the Lingual Papillae of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) by scanning electron microscopy. Journal of Anatomy, 212(2), 99–105. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.00850.x
Noel, A. C., & Hu, D. L. (2018). Cats use hollow papillae to wick saliva into fur. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(49), 12377–12382. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1809544115
Waits LP, Sullivan J, O’Brien SJ, Ward RH (1999) Rapid radiation events in the family Ursidae indicated by likelihood phylogenetic estimation from multiple fragments of mtDNA. Mol Phylogenet Evol 13, 82– 92.
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
Member since: 08/16/06 with Previous Posts: 4386

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queenie
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Posts: 503
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Location: The Heartland, USA

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

Post by queenie » Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:24 pm

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Zoo Atlanta
October 25, 2021
My name is Sophie, and I am one of the Carnivore Interns at Zoo Atlanta! For the past three weeks, I have been helping the Panda Care Team and wanted to give a little insight into what life is like as a Zoo Atlanta Intern.
I begin the morning bright and early, arriving at the giant panda building by 8 a.m., dressed in my uniform, and change into my panda habitat shoes. This keeps the pandas safe by not introducing any contaminants from my regular shoes into the area. As an intern, I help the Panda Care Team with their daily routine. This includes cleaning the dens and dayrooms, food preparation, enrichment, and other husbandry tasks. Studying animal behavior and cognition in school, I wanted to intern at an AZA-accredited zoo to observe the behaviors I had learned about in various species. Although it has only been three weeks, I have adored meeting the amazing Panda Team and learning about each panda’s unique personality and behaviors. For instance, Ya Lun loves sweet potatoes, and Xi Lun does not, so when preparing their diets, I need to make sure that Xi Lun does not receive any sweet potatoes.
My favorite part of the routine is enrichment, which is anything that stimulates the pandas and promotes natural behaviors. Suppose the care team members want to elicit a grooming behavior. In that case, they may put a scent on the logs or on a toy ball for the pandas to self-anoint (groom) themselves. With fall here, we have recently put out pumpkin spice and cinnamon for the giant pandas. Another part of enrichment that I have enjoyed is making the birthday boxes or celebration boxes for both the giant pandas and Jackie, our red panda.
Although I am not the most artistic, watching Yang Yang rip open his birthday box to find some treats and play with his ice cake was very rewarding and entertaining.
I have learned so much in my short time so far helping at the Zoo, and I cannot wait to expand my animal behavior knowledge more in the coming two and a half months!
Sophie R.
Intern, Carnivore Team
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Megan H.
October 27, 2021
For today’s panda update, I thought I’d share a little bamboo ASMR. You may have seen us post about leafeater biscuit feedings before. Essentially, we can use training to encourage the pandas to eat more bamboo if what we offer them is not quite to their liking. These sessions also give us the rare opportunity to slow down and spend some one-on-one time with the bears. I recently did one of these feeds with Lun Lun through a training panel at one of our outdoor habitats. It was a really cool fall morning, and all was quiet around the panda habitats. It’s always nice to just take a moment to enjoy these amazing animals.
Megan H.
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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