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Panda Updates – Monday, July 3

Hello panda fans! My name is Erin, and I am a primary keeper on the meat-eating side of the Carnivore Department. I thought I’d take some time to give you an update on all of our amazing cats! How does that sound? 😉 Alright, just kidding, though they really are awesome.

You may know that the Carnivore Department has keepers who care primarily for the pandas and those like me who care primarily for the meat-eaters. Most of those keepers have also been trained on the other side and have spent time in both areas. Today was my first foray into PandaLand.

I have been a keeper for more than 10 years and have worked at several other zoological facilities besides Zoo Atlanta. For the most part, a keeper’s day is fairly similar no matter where you work or what species you work with. You come in and check everyone in the morning, feed them their breakfast and clean and set up their habitats. Then you shift them into their habitats and clean their behind-the-scenes areas. Hopefully, you get some time for training and enrichment in the afternoon, maybe a keeper talk or behind-the-scenes tour or a meeting, and then it’s time to set up everyone’s night-areas, feed them their dinner, and head home for the day.

However, panda routine is done a bit differently in that the keepers pretty much spend all day shifting, feeding, and cleaning, only to have the next cycle start up as soon as the previous one has ended. Our black-and-white bears sure are demanding! It was definitely a change of pace from what I am accustomed to, but it was nice to finally see how the other side lives. I will even admit that those bears are pretty darn cute, especially the cubs. Oh, and nothing gets much cuter than Miss Idgie the red panda! I have no idea when I’ll be over in PandaLand again, but I really did enjoy the change of routine and spending time with some pretty cool animals.
Erin D.
Keeper II, Carnivores

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