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Panda updates – Wednesday, July 22

It’s National Zoo Keeper Week! As you have probably seen on Zoo Atlanta social media recently, this week is about appreciating the hard work of animal care professionals and promoting the occupation as a whole. While I am lucky to get to work with a ton of great Animal Care Team members here at Zoo Atlanta, I spend 95% of my days with the other Panda Care Team Primary Keepers, Heather and Amanda. The three of us spend almost all of our time with the giant pandas, making sure they have everything they need. We all have varying degrees of experience, and each bring something different to the team. Heather has been working with the giant pandas for 14 years and knows Lun Lun and Yang Yang extremely well. We rely on her knowledge as our Senior Keeper to problem-solve and make sure we’re adjusting to the pandas’ ever-changing diet and behavioral needs. Amanda, while the newest member of our team, has hit the ground running and her love for the animals and enthusiasm to learn is very clear in everything she does. We all get to collaborate and enjoy watching Ya Lun and Xi Lun grow, celebrate each other’s success, and cringe together when the pandas go through an entire bundle of bamboo they don’t like (while making sure to break and make a mess out of it ) in a matter of seconds. I appreciate both of them and their willingness to accept my antics, which are included but not limited to dance breaks, hiding behind doors and jumping out at them, and pretending to talk for Yang Yang in a thick southern accent. Happy National Zoo Keeper Week, Panda Peeps!

Danica W.
Keeper II, Mammals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl