Panda Updates – Wednesday, July 19
As you’ve probably seen on our social media this week, it’s National Zookeepers Week! Zookeepers work long and hard hours caring for animals, educating our guests, working as conservationists, and conducting behavioral research with our many diverse species. It’s a job with lots of hats, and not a lot of thanks from their charges. But the rewards are given in other ways, like really great animal experiences and memories. The unique opportunity to work with giant pandas is one cool experience that helps us get out of bed in the morning when it’s cold, or hot, when we are tired, or on holidays when it feels like everyone is celebrating or relaxing.
One of the experiences that we don’t do is share space with many of our animals, unlike videos you may see on social media. When our panda cubs reach 12 months old, we discontinue entering any shared space with them. That’s why it’s important to start training them to shift and move locations on their own now when they are smaller and we can still physically move them if necessary. The safety of our care team and our individual animals is always paramount. Giant panda cubs may look cute and cuddly, but we respect them as bears and want them to behave like pandas as much as possible.
Curator of Mammals