Panda updates – Monday, July 13
As you probably recall reading from past panda updates, when Yang Yang is feeling playful, the Panda Care Team can do things like play-chase where we run on our side of the mesh (there’s always a protective barrier between us and a bear), as well as tug-of-war (which always results in Yang winning, of course). Prior to and during these play sessions, Yang Yang will grab his pseudo-thumb and shake his head, which communicates to us that he is feeling playful. The other day while he was in one of the behind-the-scenes den areas, Shauna and I offered him a half plastic barrel filled with ice and produce as enrichment. Typically, water play is a natural behavior observed in giant pandas during breeding season, but Yang Yang has been known to exhibit this behavior outside of breeding season. By utilizing enrichment devices like the half plastic barrel or tubs, we can offer the pandas a novel and creative way to elicit this natural behavior. Sure enough, we caught Yang Yang attempting to sit in the half barrel and roll around in the ice, which was a hilarious sight to see – check out a video on our social networks later today!
Keeper I, Mammals