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Panda Updates- Monday, May 20

Even though the weather is warming here in Atlanta, did you know that the interior portions of our panda complex are kept at a cool 60 degrees Fahrenheit? The complex has two air-conditioned dayrooms where guests can see the pandas. This may mean that on some days, only two of the four bears are visible, while the other two may be in behind-the-scenes spaces inside the building. The Panda Care Team is easily able to attend to all four bears regardless of their location. We rotate where the bears spend their time to allow for an enriching change in environment. Because we also know the pandas and their behaviors so well, our team is able to read behavioral cues that indicate if a panda would like to spend the day in a certain space. We always do our best to listen to the needs and wants of each of the pandas so that they can all have the important element of choice in their day-to-day routine.

As we’ve previously shared, over the past several weeks we have been feeding the pandas bamboo shoots, which they love, in addition to their regular daily quantities of bamboo and produce such as apple, banana, and sweet potato. When consuming shoots, the pandas also tend to have a lot of energy, and we have seen many examples of play in recent weeks. This can include running, climbing the platforms, or interacting with enrichment items. We recently saw Lun Lun playing with an enrichment item designed to hold leafeater biscuits inside. You may see the pandas playing with these enrichment balls, which must be moved around to get the leafeater biscuits to shift until they fall out of a hole. This is a fun and stimulating activity that uses critical thinking.

Enrichment gives animals a creative outlet while providing a stimulus that allows them to engage in the same natural behaviors as their wild counterparts do. All animals at Zoo Atlanta get some form of enrichment every day. In the case of the pandas, the Panda Care Team offers each panda an enrichment item or enrichment activity every day. You may see us place objects, favorite scents, boxes, or other items that encourage natural behaviors such as foraging, climbing, play, and grooming.

(pictured: Xi Lun)

Panda Care Team

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl