Panda Updates – Monday, March 15
I mentioned in a previous update that we are leading into what would be the pandas’ typical breeding season. Even though Lun Lun and Yang Yang are no longer breeding, we do still see them demonstrate the behaviors associated with this season. Over the last few weeks, we have seen Yang Yang demonstrate some of the behaviors that are typical of this time period. More recently, we are now seeing some behavior changes with Lun Lun, indicating she is experiencing hormone fluctuations associated with breeding season – or what is known as estrus in female pandas – as well. She is eating less and spending more of her time patrolling her habitat. This is very typical of female pandas going into estrus. When she is walking around her habitat, she is frequently scent-marking to indicate her presence to any other pandas in the area. She is also being more vocal than we usually hear. While Yang Yang frequently bleats to us as we are working, Lun Lun is typically much quieter. This is another behavior that tends to increase during this season as females call out to males nearby. When we see that Lun Lun looks more restless, we can give her more spaces leading from her habitat to behind the scenes. We can also provide her a variety of bamboo throughout these spaces. This ensures she can choose where or what she needs to feel most comfortable. If you happen to see Lun Lun on PandaCam or here at the Zoo and see her walking around or walking to a different space, just know that she is doing what she feels she needs to do as her hormones are changing.
Keeper I, Mammals