Panda Updates – Monday, April 21
Hi everybody! My name is Danica, and I am a Swing Keeper in the Mammal Department here at Zoo Atlanta. This means I get the awesome job of moving through different areas and learning how to care for a wide variety of the animals that call the Zoo home. Most recently, I have been trained in on the red panda and giant panda routine. I actually interned in the panda building for a short amount of time back when Mei Lun and Mei Huan were still cubs, so I was really excited to come back as a keeper this time around! As you would probably expect, Ya Lun and Xi Lun have quickly stolen my heart. My favorite part about working with them is watching their individual personalities shine through, as well as seeing each of them learn and demonstrate similar behaviors to the adults. Even in the short time I’ve been here, Xi Lun has progressively become more and more interested in bamboo. I often see her grab a piece that Lun Lun has set aside and chew on it for a while before climbing back up the structure to take a nap. Watching the girls learn how to use their unique pseudothumbs is so interesting and so much different from working with other bear species. Ya Lun, on the other hand is all about the biscuits. It is absolutely hilarious to watch her steal one of Lun Lun’s biscuits and retreat up the structure before Mom notices. A biscuit that takes the adults seconds to devour often takes the cubs well over a half hour to put a dent in. Now that I have worked the routine and spent more time around the girls, their parents, and Idgie the red panda, I definitely get what all the hype is about. The pandas are pretty great, and I’m really looking forward to working with them!
Swing Keeper, Mammals