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 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:03 am

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Shauna D
June 20, 2018
We celebrated all of the Zoo’s animal fathers here on Father’s Day this past Sunday. Yang Yang received all sorts of special enrichment, including themed boxes and “scent-cicles.” He, of course, went straight for the boxes, as he knew there were likely leafeater biscuits inside. After taking a quick bamboo break, he moved on to the scent-cicles which were hanging from the climbing structure. When he couldn’t reach the ice blocks from the ground, he decided his best option was to climb. After he was sufficiently covered in his favorite scents, he happily went back to his bamboo lunch. Hopefully all the fathers out there had a Father’s Day as fun as Yang Yang’s.
Shauna
Keeper II, Mammals
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Happy Belated Father's Day Cool Daddy Yang :rh:
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^ Click bigger ~ Daddy Yang
Daddy Yang & His Family :grhug:
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^ click 2X biggest ~ Mama Lun, Yang, Twin Luns :huggie:
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:40 pm

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Shauna D
June 25, 2018
The other day for enrichment we decided to give the giant pandas cinnamon. When the pandas receive sensory enrichment such as scents, they generally self-anoint with it. Self-anointing just means they rub the scent all over themselves.
Yang Yang and Xi Lun were more interested in food so they mostly ignored the scent. Ya Lun couldn’t resist the urge to self-anoint and even tried to use her sister to anoint on. After several failed attempts to get her sister involved, Ya Lun anointed alone for a bit before also going back to her bamboo. Lun Lun, on the other hand, went crazy for the cinnamon. She anointed for at least seven minutes, which is unusual for them. They usually just anoint for a minute or so, then go back to searching for food. That day however, she just kept going back to the cinnamon and rubbing it all over herself. She would smell her paws and realize there was some there and go back to anointing. Every time we looked back at her, there she was rolling around in the cinnamon. It was quite something to watch and nice to see her take a break from bamboo to enjoy her enrichment.
Shauna
Keeper II, Mammals
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:13 pm

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Hello from PandaLand! It’s been awhile since I have worked more than a day here and there on giant panda routine, and this week I have the honor of spending my entire week with our black, white, and red bamboo-eaters!
All of the pandas have been a bit finicky about eating the bamboo we have on offer over the last few days. We’re lucky to have several strategies up our sleeves that help us encourage the pandas to eat their bamboo. One that we have discussed in previous updates is a leafeater biscuit feeding. This is basically a training session in which we ask the panda to eat bamboo, and if they eat just one bite, they receive a reward (a leafeater biscuit). Usually by the time we are done with the session, they have decided that the bamboo isn’t all that bad anyway.
Another thing we can try is hiding leafeater biscuits and pieces of produce inside feeder toys. This prolongs the time that it takes for the pandas to find their supplemental leafeater biscuits, which also encourages them to eat more bamboo in the process. Lun Lun is usually pretty content to work her way through a feeder toy, and if she doesn’t get all the biscuits out on the first try, she usually comes back over and over until she gets all of the biscuits out.
Yang Yang is a much tougher customer when it comes to encouraging him to spend time working for his food. He would much prefer that we put all of the leafeater biscuits in one pile on the floor …or better yet, his loving care team could feed him biscuits one after another! This makes offering Yang various feeding opportunities a challenge. I have enjoyed trying different ideas over the last couple of days. Today’s feeding opportunities were quite successful. I hung a feeder ball just above his head in one of his behind-the-scenes dens, and he had to reach up to manipulate the ball and get the biscuits out. After one feeding, he had retrieved all but one biscuit! This is probably a record success for him. I enjoyed watching him try to get all of the biscuits out, and he even checked the ball later in the feeding to see if he had forgotten any. His favorite enrichment item today was a honeycomb toy that had been stuffed with hay and biscuits and hung across his den so that he had to slide and spin it to get the biscuits out. I really enjoyed watching my “enrichment wins” today, and I think Yang did too!
Jen A.
Keeper II, Mammals
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^ click 2X biggest ~ Luns Last Night ~6/27/18 ~ Taking Boo Each Other (what they are infamous for :grlol; )
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^ click 2X biggest ~ Luns Napping Together and Eating Together ~6/27/18 (what they are famous for :huggie: :rh: )
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:08 pm

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Shauna D
July 2, 2018

Ya Lun and Xi Lun recently had a new food item added to their daily diets. In addition to the bananas, sweet potatoes and leafeater biscuits, they now receive apples. Lun Lun gets apples in her diet, so they have seen apples before and I’m sure they have stolen some of Lun Lun’s. However, in keeping up with their personalities, Ya Lun has taken to the apples right away and Xi Lun has not. Much like with the sweet potatoes, we will continue to offer the apples to Xi Lun and maybe one day she will decide to try one.
Shauna
Keeper II, Mammals
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:58 am

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We really aren’t joking when we say Ya Lun and Xi Lun are becoming quite the bamboo-eating machines! Much like their parents do, they spend the majority of their time these days munching away, taking breaks to nap, play, or interact with their care team for training sessions. One day last week before lunch, we went to see what the girls were up to through the keeper window into Dayroom 2. Ya Lun immediately spotted me and paused, as if to think “Is going over there worth leaving this bamboo for Xi Lun to steal?” Well, it must have been, because she immediately came over to see why her care team was spying on her. These two sure do crack me up!
Check out a video on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!
Danica W.
Swing Keeper I, Mammals
~~~~~~~~~~
I believe they have been eating well! Are they at their butterball-age :grlol;
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:28 pm

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^ click 2X biggest ~ Ya Lun (left) & Xi Lun (right)
Shauna D
July 11, 2018
With the summer in full swing, the giant pandas’ behaviors are starting to change. Generally during the summer they tend to eat less and sleep a bit more, and that is exactly what they are starting to do. Their hour-long naps begin to turn into hour and a half or even two-hour-long naps. We are also using a bit less bamboo, as now it is taking less to fill them up. This, of course, makes our Bamboo Team happier because now they have to cut less.
Shauna
Keeper II, Mammals
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Have you ever eaten something so delicious that you had to lick any remnants from your fingers? Well, giant pandas do that too! Anytime the pandas eat one of their favorite treats like sugarcane or a very juicy piece of fruit, they spend a few minutes licking their paws, arms, chest, and any other places that crumbs or juice may have been left behind. Here you can see Yang Yang making sure he got every bit of his frozen apple.
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores
(photo by Heather R.)
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^ click 2X biggest ~ 7/15/18
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:36 pm

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Bamboo is the giant panda’s primary food, but they don’t just eat any old bamboo. Pandas are very selective about the type and parts of the bamboo that they eat. Because they have to put so much effort into processing bamboo (breaking, stripping, peeling, etc), the giant pandas only eat the most nutritious bamboo. They can’t afford to burn up all of the calories they obtain from the bamboo just by eating it. Pandas are able to determine the nutrition level of the bamboo just by smelling it. When pandas sit down to eat, they sniff each piece of bamboo to decide if it is worth eating or not. As they are eating, they will periodically, smell the bamboo again to make sure it is still nutritious enough to continue eating. We are having one of those weeks where the pandas aren’t super excited about the bamboo on offer. It’s not too uncommon, especially in the summer months, for the pandas to dislike the bamboo. When we have bamboo that the pandas are not eating well, we are able to use positive reinforcement training to help them eat better. Just like any other behavior we ask of them, if they complete the behavior (i.e., eat bamboo), they receive a leafeater biscuit or a piece of produce as reinforcement. The pandas will often eat an entire meal of bamboo, which they otherwise wouldn’t have touched, during a training session. Why would the training make a difference if the bamboo is sub-par? I believe it works for two reasons: 1) reinforcing a behavior, by definition, means that the behavior will increase if reinforced, and 2) the biscuits and produce likely make up some of the nutritional deficits of the bamboo.
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores
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Shauna D
July 16, 2018
Many of you may have noticed there is a white barrel in the place of the hammock in one of the giant panda dayrooms. As is often the case, the hammock needed a bit of cleaning so, in the meantime, we decided to put up one of our many leafeater biscuit feeder devices. After Yang Yang left a biscuit in the spinning barrel one day, Ya Lun and Xi Lun discovered the true purpose of this device other than just for climbing. In their attempts to figure it out they began spinning it and out popped their reward. Now, whenever they spend time in that dayroom, we usually put a few of their biscuits in the barrel and watch as they run straight to the barrel to see what new goodies are out there.
Shauna
Keeper II, Mammals
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^ click bigger ~ white barrel in the place of the hammock
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:37 pm

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I just got back from a week-long vacation, so I wanted to see if Xi Lun would remember any of her training that we have been working on. One of the behaviors I am responsible for training is the “open-mouth present,” wherein the giant pandas are asked to hold their mouths open for us to be able to look inside to make sure everything looks okay. While I was feeding Xi Lun I gave her the cue and sure enough, her little mouth opened! We were even in a different spot than when she first started learning the behavior! That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it actually makes a big difference if we change locations from where they first start learning certain behaviors.
Shauna
Keeper II, Mammals
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As I only work in this area every once in a while, I saw how the skilled giant panda care team weighs the two twins. When they come inside from their habitats, they come together. For someone who doesn’t see them too often, it can be difficult to identify the both of them. To weigh them, the team puts a couple of leafeater biscuits, a piece of apple, and a slice of sweet potato in a bowl, and then place it onto the scale. After having identified Xi Lun as having the larger swooshes under her eyes, she gets shifted onto the scale first while Ya Lun gets a piece of banana. The panda caregivers know that she will not eat the sweet potato. After they get Xi Lun’s weight, she is given a piece of bamboo, and Ya Lun is then shifted onto the scale and gets her sweet potato while the care team gets her weight.
Ryan
Keeper III, Mammals
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:15 pm

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A new milestone the twins reached was a week or so ago. We started getting their p.m. weights! We weigh the adults first thing in the morning, and at the end of the day. An adult giant panda’s weight can fluctuate up to 20 pounds in the 10 hours we are here each day, purely from the food they consume. Until the twins get the hang of morning weights, we usually only get their weight once. Now that they are older, and especially since they hit one of their typical growing plateaus, we get their weights in the afternoon as well. The weight change is a good indicator that even though they haven’t hit another growth spurt yet, they are still gaining enough weight each day and thus are eating an appropriate amount of bamboo. A subadult’s weight can fluctuate by 4 to 7 pounds by the end of the day. Rest assured that we aren’t worried about their weights, as they are right on par with all their other siblings at this age; we’re just waiting for that next growth spurt!
Jen W.
Keeper III, Mammals
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First the Luns are eating boo together today, one on the hammock & the other on the ground ~ then they want to leave the den and a door opens for them :cloud9:
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they go out and Xi Lun soon comes back to take a nap :offtobed:
7-30-18 za they leave and 1 comes back to nap.jpg
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:48 pm

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^ click 2X biggest~Xi Lun
I haven’t been in Panda Land for quite a while, and it was great to be back and see the bears! Soon I will be transitioning over from my role as a Swing Keeper in the Mammal Department and will become one of the primary keepers in the giant panda section, so I will be spending quite a bit more time up here. Today, Senior Keeper Heather and I worked on a new training behavior for the twins. You may have read in past updates that the giant pandas know a cue we call “bamboo.” This is when we ask the pandas to go take a bite of bamboo, and if they choose to complete the behavior, they will be rewarded with a leafeater biscuit. Ya Lun and Xi Lun spend most of their time eating, so as you can imagine, we have high hopes that they will pick up this behavior quickly. We are utilizing a training technique called “capturing.” This is done by adding a verbal or visual cue to a behavior an animal is already offering (like eating bamboo) and teaching them that rewards follow if they choose to do it when asked. Like I mentioned, we are still in the early stages, but the twins should pick it up pretty quickly!
Danica W.
Swing Keeper I, Mammals
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:37 am

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Hi! I’m Michelle, and as of today I am the newest member of the giant panda care team at Zoo Atlanta! As a Swing Keeper in the Mammal Department, I work several routines: hoofstock, meat-eating carnivores, and now, giant pandas! I have spent the past two weeks learning the ins and outs of the giant panda building and habitats and getting to know the amazing animals who live there. I still have a lot to learn: trained behaviors, a million tiny details, and the pandas’ individual personalities along with all their likes and dislikes. It takes a lot of skill and experience to know what a giant panda needs just by looking at his or her behavior, but the panda primary keepers have been guiding me as I learn to recognize when Lun Lun wants more bamboo or when Yang Yang just wants us to admire him and give him our undivided attention. I am excited for what I’ll learn in the years to come and the new relationships I get to build with these very special animals!
Michelle E.
Keeper II, Mammals
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:39 pm

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^ click 2X biggest :rh: :pan:
Mama Lun :cloud9:
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:26 pm

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^ click 2X biggest :rh:
We’ve been using Xi Lun’s dislike of sweet potatoes and apples to our advantage the last several months. When weighing Ya Lun and Xi Lun we have been putting some of Xi Lun’s biscuits and some of Ya Lun’s apples and sweet potatoes on the scale. Then we shift Xi Lun in first and she will just eat her biscuits and after she moves off the scale, we shift Ya Lun and she gets her produce since Xi generally leaves it. This way it saves us a few extra steps. Recently however, Xi Lun decided to try some of Ya’s apple! Well apparently she decided that she likes this new food that we have been offering her the last couple months. And, to top it off, Xi decided to try the sweet potato again recently! These girls really like to keep us guessing.
Shauna
Keeper II, Mammals
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A Little Lun Eating ^ :cloud9: & Napping > :offtobed: on the Teepee Structure
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:52 pm

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Heather R
August 10, 2018
Summer is a time when giant pandas sleep more and eat less. Male giant pandas take the summer to rest after breeding season and before they have to start bulking up for the next breeding season. For Yang Yang, summer is also when he is most playful. I caught the tail-end of one of Yang Yang’s play sessions this week. You can see why we say he is eternally a cub in a video on Zoo Atlanta’s Facebook and Instagram pages!
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Mammals

8/10/18 ~ It's playful season for Yang Yang
:vid: https://www.facebook.com/ZooATL/videos/ ... 512123553/ < 28 second Yang in the update ~ photos below >
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Big Daddy Yang in the den and leaving
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:24 pm

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Jen A
August 15, 2018
Since Xi Lun has (finally) decided that apple and sweet potato are (possibly) yummy, we have been weighing the twins separately. This morning, we set the scale up for Xi Lun and began shifting the twins inside for their morning weights. Ya Lun decided that she just absolutely could not wait for her sister to be weighed before she took her turn. So this morning, we got a group weight and then subtracted Xi Lun’s weight from that in order to get both giant pandas’ weights. Sometimes the pandas force us to think on our feet a little! :grhug:
Jen A.
Keeper II, Mammals
(photo by Jen A.)
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8-18 twins.jpg
^ click 2X biggest :huggie:
8/15/18 Mama Lun Walking the Den
8-15-18 Mama Lun walking den.jpg
^ click 2X biggest :cloud9:
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:08 pm

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There has been an update in the ongoing sweet potato saga! I don’t know if everyone else cares about this as much as we do, but weighing the twins is a lot easier when we can set up the scale for both of the twins at once. This gives us more time to focus on the fun things, like enrichment or selecting the best pieces of bamboo based on how the giant pandas are eating that day.
Previously on The Sweet Potato Saga (as it is now its own soap opera, complete with twins! Although neither seems to be the evil twin…), Xi Lun disliked sweet potato, so we placed leafeater biscuits for her and sweet potato for Ya Lun on the scale. We shifted them onto the scale in that order, with Xi Lun eating her biscuits and moving off the scale to grab bamboo, and then Ya Lun coming into the scale room and getting on the platform to eat her sweet potato. All was fine until Xi Lun suddenly, after months of ignoring the sweet potato, took a liking to it! This meant that we would have to shift the twins around in the building a lot more in order to have them in the scale room at separate times and give us a chance to reset the platform with reinforcement after shifting the first twin out. All that time that could be spent giving Yang Yang biscuits or working on special enrichment, tossed away on the breeze!
Thankfully, just as with every good soap opera, there has been a new twist! It turns out that Xi Lun is unsurprisingly a little bit of a princess. She prefers her sweet potato chopped into small pieces, and will ignore it if it’s too large. Ya Lun, however, is happy to plunk down and nibble on a large chunk of sweet potato. This allows us to go back to our former more efficient method of weighing the twins, at least until Xi Lun changes her mind again!
(dramatic voice) Next time on The Sweet Potato Saga…hopefully everything stays the same!
Michelle E.
Keeper II, Mammals
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:21 pm

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:grhug: :cake:
August 29, 2018
On August 25, we celebrated the birthday of a very special member of our Zoo Atlanta family. Lun Lun turned 21 years old! Last year, Lun Lun shared her birthday enrichment with Ya Lun and Xi Lun, but this year she had everything all to herself and didn’t have to worry about two youngsters stealing her goodies. Her care team provided her with ice treats full of bananas and scented with cinnamon, as well as decorated cardboard boxes stuffed with leafeater biscuits.
In their native habitats in the wild, giant pandas generally live into their late teens and early twenties. At 21, Lun Lun would be at or near the end of her lifespan. In human care, giant pandas can live into their late twenties and even thirties, thanks to a neverending supply of bamboo, a safe place to live, and outstanding veterinary care. Our training with the giant pandas (and all of the animals here at Zoo Atlanta) allow us to ask them to participate in their own care. These positive relationships and trained behaviors help us ensure that we are able to actively monitor their health and address concerns as they arise. This is particularly important for animals as they reach their geriatric years. Lun Lun might be a year older, but she is in great health and enjoying her days. We’re very lucky that Lun Lun is here with us at Zoo Atlanta, and thankful for all of the great contributions she has made as an animal ambassador for her species, her phenomenal care for her cubs, and the smiles she brings us each day.
Danica W.
Keeper I, Mammals
(photo by Shauna)
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:38 pm

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Zoo Atlanta
August 31, 2018
Giant panda twins Ya Lun and Xi Lun, who turn 2 on September 3, were honored at two early-birthday celebrations on Friday, August 31, 2018, at Zoo Atlanta. :pan: :cake: :pan:
Ya Lun and Xi Lun entered their dayroom habitat at the Zoo’s Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Giant Panda Conservation Center to find birthday surprises created by the giant panda care team. The twins’ birthday enrichment featured two colorful ice “cakes,” each with two pillars and a large numeral two containing frozen banana slices. Ya Lun and Xi Lun also received large birthday boxes sprinkled with a hint of cinnamon – a favorite scent – and filled with leafeater biscuits, a regular part of the giant pandas’ diet.
While the birthday duo paused to check out their surprises, as growing bears, they were more interested in eating and settled down to dine on the staple of the giant panda diet: bamboo.
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Zoo Atlanta‏ · Aug 30
Can you believe it’s almost been 2 years? We’re celebrating Ya Lun and Xi Lun’s birthday a little early this year with two birthday enrichment surprises at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (panda cub time – it might not start exactly then) tomorrow, August 31.
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^ click 2X biggest ~on the left Ya Lun, on the right Xi Lun ZA Photo~Twitter


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

Post by queenie » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:59 pm

:cake: Happy 2nd Birthday Xi Lun & Ya Lun~ 9/3/18 :cake:
9-3-18 za b'day twins 4.jpg
^ click 2X biggest ~ ZA Photos:cloud9:
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:52 am

8-28-18 za in boo.jpg
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:09 pm

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The weather is (sort of) starting to cool off, and we have been able to give the giant pandas access to the outdoor habitats on some mornings. Once the temperature hits about 70 degrees, the giant pandas give us behavioral cues that they want to come inside and enjoy the temperature-controlled indoor habitats. Giant pandas have very thick and dense fur, so they aren’t built to acclimate to the heat and humidity of Georgia summers and early fall. When the weather starts to cool down, and stays cool past 11 a.m., the pandas will be able to enjoy the entire day in the outdoor habitats. Until then, we give them the opportunity to explore in the morning before returning to the comfort of their habitats inside.* :fonz:
Danica W.
Keeper I, Mammals
* returning to the comfort of their habitats inside

^ from above update today ~ cubby foraging boo on both sides of the structure, before sitting down and enjoying it and getting a drink of water at the drinker :cloud9:
9-5-18 za foraging on both sides, drinker.jpg
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one foraging around the den and one sleeping > :offtobed:
9-5-18 za one foraging on both sides, sleeping.jpg
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:45 pm

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Just because you don’t see him, her or them doesn’t mean that the giant panda who spends the day behind the scenes doesn’t get enrichment! Believe it or not, the pandas enjoy being behind the scenes just as much as they do hanging out in the dayrooms or the outdoor habitats. Yesterday, Yang Yang :rh: got to indulge in his natural skills as he batted around a frozen “scent-cicle.” We froze hot sauce and cinnamon in a Bundt cake pan and gave it to Yang Yang in one of his empty night rooms. Even after the “scent-cicle” shattered, he continued to bat around the pieces for quite some time until they eventually melted. He even picked up the pieces and self-anointed :woohoo: several times!
Jen W.
Keeper III, Mammals
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:29 pm

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This past Sunday, we celebrated the last, but certainly not the least, of our giant panda birthdays :cake: for the year. Yang Yang turned 21 years old! Yang Yang :rh: spent his day doing what he does best: snoozing in the hammock and convincing his care team (actually just me; I’m the biggest pushover) to give him extra treats. We surprised him in the afternoon with several buckets of colored ice, a sugarcane-cicle, all his favorite scents, a frozen “2” and “1” with sweet potato pieces, and the biggest cardboard box he’s ever seen! Special thanks to the hoofstock care team who sent it our way. If you were lucky enough to catch it on PandaCam, Yang Yang crawled into the box and spent a few minutes eating leafeater biscuits in there. If you tuned in and couldn’t find him, there is a good chance that’s where he was.
Danica W.
Swing Keeper I, Mammals

(photo by Danica)
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. ~ Aristotle
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by JudyB » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:59 am

Thanks for the pictures and updates, queenie - it's wonderful to see them doing so well - and to hear about their antics! And I love the time the care team puts into making enrichment items and thinking of new ways to engage the pandas!

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

Post by queenie » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:56 pm

Hi Judy ~ Me too, Judy, ZA is so good with all their animals, this update shows how caring they are being with little aging Red Panda Idgie ~ {& does help them stay as wild as possible ~ just trained enough for exams, to be able to keep them healthy for conservation study of them, & Red Pandas are threatened, see 3rd photo below reports, Keep them wild, not pets} & ZA's suggestions to be a solution to the problem. We have so enjoyed going a few times and when we did saw this precious, & very lively {at that time} Red Panda, Idgie. She was adorable and always actively all over her yard, climbing and eating, always drawing a big crowd {esp. children}. She has gotten older and looks to have slowed down, but still looks happy & sweet!
2018-09-25_143344.jpg
^ Click 2X biggest ~ Idgie :rh:
The next time you visit, you may see someone we know everyone has missed. Last week we were able to reintroduce Idgie the red panda back to her outdoor habitat in the Asian Forest. After some brainstorming between the Animal Care Team, Maintenance Team and Horticulture Team, we have modified her new ramps and perching to accommodate some mobility issues she is experiencing. Idgie is 12 years old, and red pandas generally live up to their mid-teen years in human care. These new ramps are gradual, have some gripping bamboo “steps” for her while she climbs, and will make the habitat easier for her to navigate. She spent most of the day exploring and took some occasional naps up in her favorite new hut. Like the giant pandas, we’re now able to monitor Idgie with a camera in her habitat, so keep an eye out for Idgie guest appearances on PandaCam!
Danica W.
Keeper I, Mammals
(photo by Danica)
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9-15-18 za idgie red panda 2.jpg
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Today is International RED Panda Day. While we don’t have event activities planned in the Zoo today, we will be sharing posts throughout the day on ways you can take action to save Idgie’s counterparts in the wild, so stay tuned! (photo: Danica W.)
9-15-18 za idgie red panda.jpg
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How can you help Idgie's counterparts in the wild? Take care what you share. Social media plays an increasing role in perpetuating demand for the illegal wildlife trade. You can help by not sharing or re-posting viral photos or videos of "cute" exotic pets.
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. ~ Aristotle
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:54 pm

^ see above post for more information on Red Pandas & Idgie ZA's resident Red Panda {also Lucille at Memphis Zoo and National Zoo has a third red panda, Asa, a 3-year-old who has been at the zoo since January 2016
Lifespan
Red pandas may live as long as 23 years. They show symptoms of age at around 12 to 14 years old. While females do not breed after age 12, males continue to be reproductively capable.
https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/red-panda }

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
15th September, 2018 was...
International Red Panda Day

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/inte ... panda-day/

With the decline in their habitat, International Red Panda Day hopes to encourage people to learn about these adorable :rh: creatures and help save the biome * in which they live. These animals spend most of their lives in trees and even sleep aloft. When foraging, they are mostly nocturnal but also forage in the gloaming hours of dusk and dawn. Red pandas roam the Eastern Himalayas. These rust-colored creatures are experiencing a loss of nesting trees and bamboo, leading to a decline in the population. With less than 10,000 in the wild efforts are doubled every year to help these little firefoxes!

So head to your local zoo and support :grhug: those who are helping saves these loveable creatures habitat, but keep your eye peeled they can be hard to spot. Spending a lot of their time in tree’s they are often difficult to see in their enclosures. Red pandas typically grow to the size of a house cat, though their big, bushy tails add an additional 18 inches to their size. Red pandas have a taste for bamboo but, unlike their larger relatives, they eat many other foods as well—fruit, acorns, roots, and eggs. Like giant pandas, they have an extended wrist bone that functions almost like a thumb and greatly aids their grip when climbing.
:chin:
* What is a Biome? - Animal Facts and Information
www.bioexpedition.com/biomes
A biome is a geographical area that is very large in size. Each of these geographical areas has certain groups of animals and plants that are present within it.
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. ~ Aristotle
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:21 am

This live stream recording is not available.~ ZA Panda Cam

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Having a camera to remotely monitor Idgie the red panda is the best thing since sliced bread! We have been taking full advantage of this and keep finding ways to encourage her to use her air-conditioned hut in her outdoor habitat. Currently, this involves splitting her diet into many small portions and running over there throughout the day to entice her to go cool off and eat in her A/C hut. Once she has eaten she will often lie down and take a nap and cool off, but inevitably she wanders back out to the platforms to finish her naps. Idgie is the resident Zoo Diva and is well known for being a little stubborn when it comes to taking advantage of the many ways we have given her to cool off (fans, her air-conditioned house, a cooling pad to lay on, etc.). On your next visit, be sure to stop by and see our little lady – who knows where she will be sleeping the afternoon away!
Jen W.
Keeper III, Mammals
(Photo by Jen W.)
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Enrichment is something we offer to all of the animals at Zoo Atlanta, and we often prepare enrichment that caters to an individual animal’s interests and preferences. As everyone knows, Yang Yang is our resident 21-year-old cub, and really enjoys playing with jolly balls. I thought it would be fun to offer Yang Yang a bunch of his favorite enrichment at once (16 of them total, to be exact). We sprinkled it with the scents of cinnamon and some rubbing alcohol. I don’t speak panda, but I think it’s safe to say that at the time, Yang Yang couldn’t have cared less about the crazy enrichment. He tunnel-visioned in the direction of his bamboo, and plowed through the pile of jolly balls. Sometimes enrichment doesn’t work out, and that’s okay! We adjust and think of new ideas for next time. This arrangement of enrichment items will probably be offered again when Yang Yang is showing us he is in a more playful mood. I expect he will be much more excited about turning the dayroom into a ball pit when he doesn’t have bamboo on the brain.
Danica W.
Keeper I, Mammals
(Photo by Danica W.)
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. ~ Aristotle
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:35 pm

Friday (October 5) is World Teachers' Day, an occasion to celebrate all those who shape the minds of future generations and help people learn.
"Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach." — Aristotle
World Teachers' Day, also known as International Teachers Day, is held annually on October 5.Established in 1994, it commemorates the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world.
https://www.ibtimes.com/world-teachers- ... s-2722693
(More quotes in the article) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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After seeing today was World Teacher's Day, I found this article on it. We probably all have had our favorite teachers in our lives, and we have David Hancock, and all who share about the marvelous nature we enjoy, on this forum, so....
:bravo:
Happy World Teacher's Day to All of You & since I'm in a thankful holiday mood also..
Happy Columbus Day Weekend
(^ October 8 >) &
Happy Thanksgiving Day Canada
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. ~ Aristotle
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:09 pm

Are Cubby Luns Learning or Treating at the treat window?
:chin:
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Wild giant pandas typically eat bamboo leaves from April through October when the leaves are fresh and tender. However, our giant pandas rarely eat leaves throughout the summer. They eat a few leaves in early spring when they are brand-new, and then again for about a month in late fall. The rest of the year, they prefer to eat the stem, or culm, of the bamboo. However, this summer, all of the giant pandas have preferred eating new-growth leaves. It’s been an interesting and welcome development. New-growth leaves are much easier to find during the summer, as opposed to the old-growth culms that they usually prefer to eat. Our Bamboo Team has not had to struggle so much this summer to find bamboo that the giant pandas will eat. I know this leafing season will not last much longer as the temperatures cool down, but we are enjoying it while it lasts.
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores
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As many of you who have followed the giant pandas for a number of years know, female giant pandas can exhibit pseudopregnancy. Pseudopregnancy closely mimics pregnancy in terms of behaviors and hormone fluctuations, but is not an actual pregnancy. Lun Lun has recently been experiencing this. This is not a surprise for us in that we knew that Lun Lun was not expecting, but we are familiar with pseudopregnancy behaviors and hormone changes. Lun Lun has lately been awake and active when we arrive in the morning, sleeping less, and recently she started becoming a bit restless being in the behind-the-scenes dens. So yesterday she got to spend the day in one of the dayrooms. She is still a little restless, but this is expected as her hormones are once again fluctuating. If you visit her at the Zoo, or see her on PandaCam, and notice that she seems to be a little more restless than normal, this is why. Rest assured that this is very normal, and she’ll turn back into the bamboo-eating machine that we all know soon enough. On the flip side, Yang Yang is beyond happy to spend some time behind the scenes, as this gives him more opportunities to interact with his care team (read: sucker us into giving him treats)!
Jen W.
Keeper III, Mammals
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Re: Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta ~ Lun Lun-Yang-Ya Lun & Xi Lun Family

Post by queenie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:51 pm

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Throughout the year, giant pandas go through fairly large fluctuations in weight. Yang Yang, for example, can go from about 123 kilograms (270 pounds) to about 138-140 kilograms (303-308 pounds) in a year. Right now, as expected, they are on the lower end of their spectrum as we are coming out of summer, and they tend to eat a bit less in the summer. With winter fast approaching, they will all begin eating more and packing on the pounds soon. Not surprisingly, they are at their heaviest during shoot season when they tend to gorge themselves on the delicious bamboo shoots that pop up around springtime.
Shauna
Keeper II, Mammals
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Boo Babies
10-9-18 za boo babies.jpg
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