Panda Updates – Wednesday, October 21
Over the past three years as a member of the Giant Panda Care Team, I’ve really gotten to know the pandas here at Zoo Atlanta and all of their quirky traits. All bear species, not just giant pandas, are full of personality, and each individual has behaviors and mannerisms that make them unique. When I first started working with Lun Lun, she was a full-time panda mom taking care of rambunctious Ya Lun and Xi Lun. During that time, she was a very “down to business” panda, with her sole focus being on making sure her cubs were cared for and that she was eating enough to nurse them. I really got to know Lun Lun as an individual after the cubs were weaned and she had time to be herself and decide how she wanted to spend her days. Some days she feels like sleeping in well past 9 a.m.; other days she is up and ready to go right when we get here. One day she is all about interacting with her enrichment, and sometimes all she cares about is finding the freshest piece of bamboo to devour. She has her favorite sleeping spots, places she likes to kick back and eat, and scents she just can’t help but self-anoint with every time she encounters them. It’s so fun to observe all of the different traits our pandas at Zoo Atlanta have, despite being cared for by the same group of people in the same environment. They are very much like us in the sense that no two individuals are quite the same. Lun Lun is silly, sassy, smart, curious, and so fun to take care of. Between the four of the giant pandas, we definitely never have a dull day around here!
Keeper II, Mammals