Animal updates: Visibility of giraffes, zebras, and ostriches may be limited as our new bontebok acclimates.

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Panda Updates – Monday, October 14

A lot of people ask us what it’s like being an animal care professional, and specifically what it’s like caring for the giant pandas. Like other animal care team members at any zoo, our days are very much about routines, but we all must be able to adjust that routine at a second’s notice based on a variety of factors such as weather and animal behavior. Giant pandas can be particularly selective about their bamboo, so caring for them is very much about being able to adjust and provide them with bamboo of their liking. We’re so fortunate to have an awesome Bamboo Team who harvests our bamboo for us (it’s a very labor-intensive job and they deserve a lot of credit)! Some mornings, being a member of the Giant Panda Care Team means giving the pandas their breakfast, and then getting other things done while they enjoy it until they go down for a nap. Other mornings, it means giving the pandas their breakfast, and then five minutes later their behavior shows they would like something else. Then another five minutes later, another panda decides the same thing, and about five minutes after that I’m sure you can guess what happens next. It’s chaotic, but I don’t think I’d trade even the craziest of days for another job. This morning I was cleaning up a particularly big mess Lun Lun left us overnight, and I looked over and saw the twins peeking at me through a glass window. It’s moments like that I realize that while the job comes with a lot of challenging aspects, the animals we see every day are worth it, and I’ve got one of the coolest jobs in the world. 
Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals

(photo by Danica W.)

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