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Panda Updates – Monday, November 2

Happy Monday, everyone! It is with bittersweet feelings that I share today is my last panda update, and I’m headed for a new adventure up north. Since becoming a Swing Keeper in the Mammal Department in 2015, I have had the pleasure of working with a huge variety of animals. After transitioning to a primary member of the Panda Care Team in 2018, it became clear to me that this was where I would be most fulfilled and able to demonstrate Zoo Atlanta’s mission.  

Caring for Yang Yang, Lun Lun, Ya Lun, Xi Lun, and Idgie has been the privilege of a lifetime. Pandas often draw people in based off their obvious cuteness, but their unique personalities and ability to constantly make me smile got me hooked. Regardless of what was going on in the outside world, I could always count on them to make me laugh and keep me on my toes. Pandas are big goofballs and always up to something silly, which I could relate to on a personal level. Also, who doesn’t love constant snacks and naps? 

We all know Lun Lun is a supermom, but getting to know her post-motherhood has been such a treat. She is silly, sweet, and so smart. She’s also ridiculous when she wants to be, and as much as it pained me, I chuckled every time she would go through an entire pile of bamboo and individually toss aside the pieces that weren’t “good” enough. 

Meeting Ya Lun and Xi Lun at about 7 months old and watching them grow has been a huge highlight for me. They went from little balls of floof to larger balls of floof full of personality. Xi Lun’s coy but confident demeanor is the best, and I will always think of Ya Lun as a little Tonka Truck. 

I’ve never been shy about the special place in my heart that will always have a spot for Yang Yang. That kid is the goofiest of them all, and I’ll miss him kicking my butt at Tug of War and the silly yawn noise he makes when he’s waking up in the morning.  

Memories of Idgie and her quirks will always make me smile. She was a special one, and grapes will remind me of that little diva forever.
It’s safe to say I’ve got enough memories from my time at Zoo Atlanta to keep me smiling for a lifetime, and I’ve experienced so many neat things. I’ve enjoyed writing these updates the last few years and hope I was able to teach you something new along the way! Please continue to love and support pandas along with all of the animals here at Zoo Atlanta not just for their amazing personalities and uniqueness, but for their important roles in their ecosystems and deservingness they have to be protected in their natural habitats. I may be leaving the Panda Care Team, but I’m hopping on over to your team and will be supporting and cheering on Zoo Atlanta for years to come. 

Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl