Panda Updates – Wednesday, February 5
Providing enrichment is an important part of the daily care for all of the animals here at the Zoo because it helps to promote natural behaviors and can be physically and mentally stimulating for the animals. There are several categories of enrichment, but one of my favorites is sensory. When given a scent that the giant pandas really like, such as cinnamon, Tabasco, or even Listerine, they will start to self-anoint with it. This is when they roll around it and rub it all over themselves (and if you’re wondering if they ingest them, they do not). It never ceases to make me laugh because once they’re done rolling around in it, they usually act like nothing happened. The other day was a sensory enrichment day, so for Ya Lun and Xi Lun the Panda Care Team put cinnamon on a bed of shavings. If you tuned into PandaCam, then maybe you got a chance to see them investigate it while they were playing in one of our dayrooms. For Lun Lun and Yang Yang, we provided them a few scents like cinnamon and isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) in their respective behind-the-scenes den spaces. They thoroughly enjoyed both scents and spent a few minutes rolling around in them.
Keeper I, Mammals
(photo by Allyson Busch)