Panda Updates – Friday, November 8
A lot of our updates focus on the twins and their milestones, or Yang Yang and his cub-like behavior despite being an older bear. So I wanted to take time in this update to talk about Lun Lun, and just how much she has done for the conservation and advocacy of her species. At 22 years old, Lun Lun has successfully reared seven healthy offspring. Ya Lun and Xi Lun are still here with us at Zoo Atlanta, but Mei Lan, Xi Lan, Po, Mei Huan, and Mei Lun are all thriving at the Chengdu Research Base in China, and some have had offspring of their own, making Lun Lun a grandmother!
Having seven cubs is almost certainly something that wouldn’t happen for a wild giant panda. Four of Lun Lun’s cubs were twins, and giant panda twins are not able to survive in their wild habitats because the mother cannot physically care for two. Here at Zoo Atlanta, members of the Panda Care Team were able to assist Lun Lun with the rearing of twins to ensure they survived. That being said, the bulk of the work was still very much on Lun Lun, and once both cubs were moving around well on their own, she took care of both at once. Nursing and entertaining two cubs is no easy feat, and we all admire her greatly for it. She was an amazing mother for all her cubs and has created a legacy and successful program of giant panda breeding here at Zoo Atlanta. She carried, nurtured, and taught seven giant pandas how to thrive and now they are all contributing to their species as well. Lun Lun also accomplished all of that while voluntarily participating in our Wild Encounter program and creating connections between our guests and wildlife. You go, girl!
Keeper II, Mammals
(photo by Danica W.)