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PANDA UPDATES – Monday, May 18

Things have been fairly normal for the giant pandas since our last update. The pandas didn’t seem to notice the lack of visitors prior to reopening the Zoo, and they also haven’t shown any reaction to visitors returning. Giant pandas are happy wherever they have bamboo, and they (and the Panda Care Team) have been enjoying bamboo shoot season quite a bit. It’s normal for the pandas to put on a little water weight during shoot season, and they can even gain over 20 pounds a day (most of which is discarded overnight for us to clean up in the morning). When the giant pandas show us that they want bamboo through their behavior (vocalizing, walking around the habitat, etc.) we give them as much as we think they’ll need to be satiated and take a nap. We don’t really notice quite how much bamboo we have gone through until we do our calculations at the end of the day. While finishing up those calculations yesterday, I had to do a double take to make sure I didn’t goof up the numbers. We used over 530 pounds of bamboo! I double checked, and sure enough, the numbers came back the same. It was the most I had seen us use in a single day since I joined the Panda Care Team, and I was especially surprised because we had almost no bamboo waste at the end of the day. Needless to say, we definitely had some happy, full pandas yesterday, and some very grateful caregivers who are glad we are lucky enough to have our own Bamboo Team to harvest for the pandas.

Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals

(photo by Danica W.)

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