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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queenie
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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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5/9/21~For Mama Lun Day ~ 2.33min
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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:vid: https://youtu.be/uGrpQ-U3t_E < 2.33 min
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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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queenie
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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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queenie
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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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queenie
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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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