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Panda Updates – Wednesday, March 15

Months ago in our nursery updates, you may remember us writing to you all about how we would sometimes do biscuit feeds with Lun Lun in order to encourage her to eat more bamboo. While biscuits are an important part of her balanced diet, they are viewed as a supplement, whereas bamboo is her primary food source. Just like some of us, the pandas sometimes prefer the “side item” or “dessert” over the main course. Through training, we have been able to teach the pandas that if they eat bamboo when we ask them to, they will then get a biscuit. Of course, being pandas, we rarely need to do feedings like this, but on particular days it comes in very helpful. I just had this kind of day with Lun Lun. She was being particularly picky with her bamboo and only seemed to want biscuits at the end of the day. I called her over to the window in the door and gave her the cue for “bamboo.” Usually she reaches for the nearest piece, eats a bit of it, and then looks at us as though saying “There, I did it. Can I have my biscuit?”. This time she decided to add a little dramatic flair by grabbing a piece and throwing herself onto her back to chow down. She did this for each piece of bamboo. I personally feel like it took way more effort on her part, but at the same time it was pretty cute and ridiculous.
Jenny E.
Lead Keeper, Carnivores

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