Panda Updates – Monday, April 19
Although they are solitary animals, giant pandas do have a few vocalizations that they use to communicate with one another, and sometimes even with their keepers. A giant panda’s most frequently used vocalization is called a bleat. It might sound more like a goat than a bear, but bleating is a panda’s basic contact call. Yang Yang is Zoo Atlanta’s most vocal panda; he communicates frequently with his care team and is quick to let us know when he has finished his bamboo and would like more. Giant pandas also moan, bark, huff, and honk, and each of these sounds are distinctive and are used for different reasons.
Pandas have other means of communication as well, specifically scent-marking. They use their scent glands under their tails to mark their surroundings. Amazingly, details such as sex, age, reproductive status, and more can be determined from just one scent mark! This is extremely useful in marking territory and/or finding a potential mate.
Keeper I, Mammals
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