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Panda Updates – Friday, May 29

Bamboo shoot season is definitely the pandas’ and the Panda Care Team’s favorite time of year! We’ve been offering the pandas bamboo shoots for as long as they have been at Zoo Atlanta; however, it was only about four or five years ago that we began offering shoots exclusively during this season. In the past, we offered a few shoots per day along with the pandas’ normal amount of mature bamboo. In the early years, we weren’t sure how sustainable our bamboo supply would be and didn’t want to deplete it by cutting too many shoots. We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Atlanta community and have an abundance of bamboo stands to keep the pandas fed. In light of your generosity, we are now able to imitate the pandas’ wild diet during bamboo shoot season and offer them only shoots. We still keep a few bundles of mature bamboo in our cooler in case the pandas (mainly Lun Lun) would like something different. In the wild, giant pandas will only eat shoots during this time of year and can eat as much as 80 pounds per day! Although it makes me extremely happy to be able to mimic the pandas’ wild diet, the habitats do look a little sparse without the big, leafy pieces of bamboo we typically offer.

Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores

(photo by Danica W.)

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