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Panda Updates – Wednesday, August 16

Ya Lun and Xi Lun have been interested in and playing with bamboo for several months now. However, just in the last couple of weeks, their interactions with bamboo have intensified. Last week, I saw Ya Lun purposefully bite off two leaves and chew them for several minutes before she spit them out. This increased interest in the bamboo is expected for cubs of their age — 11 to 12 months. Very soon, they will began to ingest the bamboo. However, they are still several months away from relying on bamboo as their primary source of nutrition. They will still nurse from Lun Lun for as long as she will allow them to do so. Over the next several months, they will increase their intake of bamboo and work on perfecting their techniques for processing the bamboo. They will figure the easiest way to hold the stem while they peel away the outer layer and decide if stripping off a whole branch of leaves or picking off one leaf at a time works best for them. This is a bittersweet milestone. It’s wonderful because they are growing and healthy, but it means that soon they will no longer be babies.
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores

(Photo by Stephanie B.)

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