Panda Updates – Friday, March 17
You may have noticed that Lun and her munchkins spent the morning in a behind-the-scenes den the other day and were not seen in the dayroom during that time. This was because Lun Lun was passing a mucus stool. Every so often, giant pandas will shed the lining of their GI tract (likely the stomach). While they are shedding and passing this mucus-like substance, they usually curl up into a ball and do not eat or move much. If you’re a panda mom, you still have to attend to your little cubs while your body does its thing. To help keep the cubs busy while Lun was trying to pass her mucus stool, we attached a tree branch to the mesh in one of the dens. Most of Lun’s previous cubs have seen this branch, so it’s not new to Lun Lun. But it was the first time the cubs had seen it! Xi Lun slept most of the morning behind the scale, but Ya Lun was determined to climb this new “tree!” Unfortunately Mom wasn’t in the mood to keep an eye on her cub and kept pulling Ya Lun down every time she attempted to climb the tree. It was humorous to watch Ya Lun try her hardest to get away from Lun Lun and start climbing the tree only to be pulled back down. There were even a couple of times where Ya Lun tried to sneak past what she thought was her sleeping mom to climb the branch, only to be surprised by a gentle tug back to the ground. It turned into a play session that Lun Lun participated in. Such an attentive mother, and a classic example of pandas cubs and their one-track mind!
Keeper III, Mammals