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Panda Updates – Friday, March 16

It’s always interesting to see how this set of twins is different from the last, especially since both sets are female. Mei Lun and Mei  Huan were much more quiet, yet awake and active in the morning waiting for fresh food. Ya Lun and Xi Lun have so far been sleepier in the mornings and way more vocal once they get up. Their vocalizations as cubs and subadults are mainly chirps. If their mother were around they would be chirping to say “I want milk!” As subadults they’re chirping to say “We want attention and leafeater biscuits!” We’ve inadvertently realized that they have made the associations with being in behind-the-scenes areas with always getting leafeater biscuits. While we do reinforce shifting from one place to another, we need to teach the girls that just because you’re behind the scenes doesn’t mean you will be given an unlimited amount of leafeater biscuits. The care team is always having to analyze everything they do to determine whether they are accidentally reinforcing behaviors that will, at a later time, become potentially problematic. This includes walking by two cute little pandas and getting “suckered” into giving them a treat just because!
Jen W.
Keeper III, Mammals

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