Panda Updates – Wednesday, October 7
Animals, just like humans, have changes in priorities and preferences as they age. As animal care professionals, it is our job to observe our animals and their behaviors to see how they might be adjusting or changing as they get older. Lun Lun and Yang Yang both just turned 23 years old, and are considered older for giant pandas. Lun Lun, having successfully birthed and reared seven cubs, has contributed impressively to the giant panda gene pool. The last few years it has been really interesting getting to know Lun Lun “post-motherhood” and understanding her more as an individual. Her priorities and motivations totally shift when she isn’t responsible for caring for cubs or getting ready to have more, and her true spunk has really shined through. The last few days she has taken a page out of Yang’s book and is soliciting play from her care team. She even recently enjoyed a giant sweet potato, something she didn’t like for over 19 years! It’s important that we give the animals the opportunity to make choices no matter what, because as Lun Lun has demonstrated, things can and do change.
Keeper II, Mammals