Panda Updates – Monday, June 11
One of the giant pandas’ favorite non-food enrichment items are various scents. We have tried many smelly substances over the years. Some scents elicit no response, but we have found quite a few that the pandas respond to every time we offer them. Any scents offered to the giant pandas (and to all other species at the Zoo) are of course pre-approved first by our Veterinary Team as being safe for use.
When the giant pandas enjoy a scent, they like to roll in it and rub it on themselves. We call this behavior “self-anointing.” Many of these scents are well-known among our panda’ fans – cinnamon, vanilla extract, Tabasco sauce – but others may be a surprise. The giant pandas also enjoy the scents of isopropyl alcohol, white vinegar, and allspice. Here you can see Yang Yang’s reaction when he discovered some Tabasco on his weeble.
Senior Keeper, Mammals