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Panda Updates – Friday, December 13

The Panda Care Team gets a weight on Idgie the red panda weekly. Accomplishing this task requires Idgie to get into a small, black rubber tub that you see pictured here. This tub is on top of a small scale with a reader off to the side. This process of getting Idgie’s weight is a great example of how all of the training we do here at the Zoo is voluntary. If Idgie decides to participate, she is rewarded or positively reinforced by receiving a highly valued food item such as grapes. For Idgie to be reinforced she needs to be fully in the tub, with her tail wrapped around her. If Idgie chooses not to participate in the training session, that is completely fine. We can ask for another behavior and then go back to her scale training, or just attempt the session on another day altogether. Idgie, along with all of the animals here at the Zoo, have a choice whether or not they want to participate. The next time you’re visiting the Zoo, be sure to check the activities for the day, which usually include a variety of Keeper Talks where you can learn more about the voluntary training we do here at the Zoo! 
Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals

(photo by Amanda D.)

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