Panda Updates – Monday, December 2
I hope that everyone was able to enjoy a nice holiday this past week surrounded by the things and people you are thankful for. Many of us on the Animal Care Team here at Zoo Atlanta spent the day here at the Zoo taking care of the animals and making sure they had everything they needed. While Zoo Atlanta is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, we still need to come in and take care of the animals. I really enjoy working holidays as it is often a more quiet and mellow kind of day. One of the things I am most thankful for is the opportunity to build relationships with the animals that I help take care of. We always work through a protective barrier with the giant pandas, but that doesn’t prevent us from being able to form a strong bond with them while keeping everyone’s safety a priority. One animal I’ve really built a bond with is our adult male giant panda, Yang Yang. This guy and I just seem to be on the same page. We talk about his playfulness often in our updates (and Lun Lun is starting to be more playful too, which we are all excited about!), and Yang Yang makes me smile just by being his goofy self. He’s never in a hurry, and he always makes time for his most favorite things. The other day he was being so silly that Keeper Heather and I were crying, we were laughing so hard. My favorite moments are the ones where we can take a break from cleaning and spend quality time with the giant pandas. It’s moments like the one pictured that I like to reflect on how thankful I am for the opportunity to care for such charismatic animals every day. I think if everyone had the same outlook on life that Yang Yang does, we’d find more time to relax and enjoy ourselves. So, just remember, that no matter what’s happening in your life, there is always time to sit back, have fun, and maybe enjoy a banana or two.
Keeper II, Mammals