Panda Updates – Monday, August 17
No matter how many times I watch Lun Lun eat bamboo, I’m always impressed by her focus, skill, strength, and efficiency as she eats. We often call her “the Bamboo-Eating Machine” and she really is! She can plow through 10 kilograms of bamboo in less than an hour. Lun Lun is also a bit less picky about the bamboo than Yang Yang and her offspring. This week, we had some Arrow bamboo that none of the pandas were eating, except Lun Lun. The pandas usually prefer to eat the stems of Arrow bamboo and rarely eat the leaves; however, Lun Lun didn’t like the stems of this Arrow, so she improvised and ate the leaves instead. I believe Lun Lun learned to be adaptable once she had cubs to care for. She also honed her speed and efficiency in eating after becoming a mom. She never knew when her cub (or cubs) would need her, so she had to take care of herself as quickly as possible. Also, once the cubs were older, they would try to take her food for themselves. Yang Yang has the luxury of taking his time and being choosy about his food because he has never had to devote time caring for offspring. Now that Lun Lun is retired from having cubs, she has retained those eating habits that she picked up as a mom and continues to be our resident Bamboo-Eating Machine.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores
(photo by Heather R.)