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Panda Updates – Wednesday, June 23

One of my favorite natural behaviors that giant pandas do is something called “self-anointing.” Pandas are very scent-oriented animals. They mark their territories by scent-marking and are quick to investigate any new or unusual smells. It is unclear exactly why they self-anoint, but it is something they do frequently if they find a smell that they are particularly interested in. If they like the smell, they will either roll around in it or rub it all over themselves. As this is a behavior that is natural for them, we can offer the pandas a variety of things to try to encourage them to self-anoint. If you are familiar with our pandas specifically, you may have heard that Tabasco sauce and cinnamon are two of the most “beloved” scents around here. However, we do have many things we can offer to the pandas to encourage this. One of those that can be fun to watch are wood shavings. We offered some shavings to Lun Lun in one of her behind-the-scenes dens recently, and she seemed to absolutely love them. She spent several minutes rolling around in them, scooping them up and rubbing them on her head, and then rolling some more. Be sure to check out a video of that adorable session on Zoo Atlanta Facebook and Instagram later today. Enjoy!

Megan H.
Keeper I, Mammals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl