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Panda Updates – Wednesday, March 1

Even though the cubs are only just under 6 months old, and weigh around 9 kilograms (give or take, depending on if they’ve gone to the bathroom), they have gotten incredibly strong! We usually have to wake them up after lunch to give them their supplemental formula. This means we have to go and pull them off the structures in the dayrooms. You’d think that would be easy, but it isn’t! Their natural instinct is to hold on tight to whatever they’re sleeping on (in the wild it’s high in a tree) so they don’t fall off. It’s already taking a bit of strength to pry their paws out of their bear hold (pun intended). As they get older, this is going to become harder and harder. This is why we stop going in with the cubs when they’re usually around a year old – not because they could cause serious harm (well, they could if they were really determined) but because if they’re in a playful mood and decide to grab onto our leg, it will be very difficult to get them off! This is also why we work really hard with Lun Lun to retrieve her cubs when we ask. We also are taking advantage of every opportunity to have the cubs shift inside through the shift door. The sooner they learn “the white shift opens and I get treats on the other side when I come inside,” the easier our lives are!
Jen W.
Keeper III, Mammals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl