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Author Topic: Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam  (Read 169208 times)
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hermit
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« Reply #2205 on: July 29, 2017, 01:59:21 AM »

July 28, 2017
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of the most fun parts of watching the twins grow up is observing their preferences in food and enrichment. Although the girls are playing with and chewing on bamboo, they are not fully consuming it, and it isn’t considered a portion of their diet at this point. Still, we thought we’d switch it up a bit and offer the twins a browse item they have never had before: eastern redbud. Eastern redbud is a deciduous tree that is native to eastern North America, all the way from Canada to Florida. Its large, heart-shaped leaves make it a favorite browse item among many of the animals here at the Zoo. Before Andazi the black rhino left for Little Rock Zoo, it was always one of her favorites. At this age, Ya Lun and Xi Lun will chew on and investigate just about anything. After checking out the new browse, Xi Lun was chewing on the leaves and breaking the bark. It’s not as tough as bamboo, so it was good practice for her culming technique on an easier “victim.” We also gave some to Yang Yang, and he enjoyed it, too! Yang Yang also really enjoys eating mulberry, despite his predisposition to love bamboo. It’s always fun to offer new items to the bears, and it looks like this one was a big enough hit to offer again in the future.
Danica W.
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nightengale
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« Reply #2206 on: July 29, 2017, 09:06:42 PM »

Thanks hermit for your faithful posting over here on the Panda Thread  hug

Lately, I haven't even been good at getting over here to read the posts .... so I have a lot of catching up to do!

What a wonderful service documenting these lovely creatures .... much thanks hermit!  bigsmile
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~Chris~ 
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world ~ John Muir
 
hermit
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« Reply #2207 on: July 30, 2017, 09:19:55 PM »

You're welcome Chris.  I love the pandas.  love
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hermit
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« Reply #2208 on: July 31, 2017, 07:18:10 PM »

July 31, 2017
Yang Yang isn’t the only one in a playful mood the past few days! He has, however, caused early retirement for some of our enrichment items. We had a few casualties in the Jolly Ball department the past two weeks, but it’s not quite time to put them up for good. Some of the toys that Yang has deflated are now great chewing and play toys for the girls. After being thrown around the dayroom and yanked off the structures, the slightly deflated Jolly Balls are now much easier for the girls to maneuver around and chew on. Their favorite scent so far seems to be rubbing alcohol, so we will often hide biscuits or dab scents on them when we are setting up their dens or dayroom. Both girls also enjoy when we prop items high up in the structures, and it can be quite comical to watch them accidentally drop them near an unknowing sister or Lun Lun passing below.

We are lucky here at the Zoo to have an enrichment Wishlist where we can post items we think the animals would enjoy. Thanks to our great fans and supporters, we are always able to provide enrichment that is mentally stimulating for our animals. This not only allows them to highlight their natural behaviors, but it also allows our guests to see the animals solve puzzles, interact with their environment, or just show off some of their play behaviors and unique adaptations. If you would like to see if an item is listed for one of your favorite Zoo residents, you can check out the link below. The animals, keeper staff, and Jolly Ball population greatly appreciate it.

Zoo-wide wishlist: https://give.zooatlanta.org/zoo-atlanta-wishlist

More panda-specific wishlist: https://give.zooatlanta.org/twinwish

Danica W.
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hermit
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« Reply #2209 on: August 02, 2017, 08:45:29 PM »

August 2, 2017
I know we’ve talked a lot about how playful Yang Yang’s been …but his antics have been cracking all of us up for days now! I love summertime-funtime! Lun Lun even seems to have been bitten by the “play bug” because she’s been more playful with the cubs when she’s not devouring bamboo. While I agree with the pandas and don’t care for the Georgia heat, the bears tend to eat less and spend more time sleeping and/or playing. In theory, this allows the keepers a little more time to work on side projects. Unfortunately Yang Yang has been quite demanding with his keeper-time and flat-out refusing to go back into the dayroom where his food is because he seems to want games with us. The biggest update with the twins is that lately they’ve been preferring the brown-colored leafeater biscuits over the red. A few weeks ago it was the exact opposite. They can’t make up their minds! Such divas!
Jen W.
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hermit
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« Reply #2210 on: August 04, 2017, 09:22:57 PM »

August 4, 2017
It’s been awhile since my last shift in PandaLand, and I’m amazed at how much the girls have grown, both physically and mentally. They are so smart! With their first birthday just over the horizon, we’re working diligently to help fine-tune shift training with the girls so that by the time we are no longer working as hands-on with them, they will be able to reliably shift from one area to another just like their parents. Ya Lun and Xi Lun are quickly becoming pros at it, and as their “busy cub schedules” begin to line up more with the adults’ feeding routine, they will begin shifting inside with their mom more often throughout the day. They have the choice to come in with their mom or stay out in the dayroom while we clean. Today, Ya Lun happened to be up and interested in coming to see if we had any yummy treats to offer inside, while Xi Lun was happy to continue resting in the climbing structure while we put out fresh bamboo for Lun Lun.
Jen A.
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nightengale
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« Reply #2211 on: August 06, 2017, 06:44:42 PM »

Wow! .... almost a year old!!!!!!!!!!!!  Whew, time flies!

Thanks hermithug
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~Chris~ 
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world ~ John Muir
 
hermit
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« Reply #2212 on: August 09, 2017, 08:55:37 PM »

August 9, 2017
If you were watching PandaCam last week, you may have noticed that the hammock was missing from the dayroom. While the hammock is a well-loved furniture item for all of our pandas, and especially our cubs, it is also an enrichment item. We like to rotate enrichment items every so often to keep them novel. Some items, like the hammock, are in frequent use while others, like the car or tire swing, are used more sparingly. We decided that after roughly seven months in use, the hammock was in need of a good deep clean. Since the girls are able to maneuver the climbing structure well and are no longer relying on the hammock as a sleeping spot like they were in their younger days, we were not concerned with the hammock being absent for a few days. On the contrary, we were excited for the enrichment possibilities that are presented by having additional space for large enrichment items while waiting for the hammock to completely dry. You never know what fun these silly bears will be up to, or what items will show up in this space!
Jen A.
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hermit
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« Reply #2213 on: August 11, 2017, 06:43:29 PM »

August 11, 2017
It’s almost party time in PandaLand! This time of year, there are a lot of exciting things happening for the pandas and their keepers. As we near the end of summer and beginning of fall, we will hopefully start to see some cooler weather (I think that may be the Pacific Northwesterner in me being optimistic), which means the pandas can start utilizing their outdoor habitats again. This August and September are really special because it’s birthday time for all of the giant pandas here at the Zoo. Lun Lun, Ya Lun, Xi Lun and Yang Yang all have birthdays within three weeks of each other! Lun Lun’s birthday is coming up first on August 25, Xi Lun and Ya Lun shortly after on September 3, and then last but definitely not least, Yang Yang’s birthday is on September 9. The girls will be celebrating their first birthdays, and both Yang Yang and Lun Lun will be turning 20. Each year we present the pandas with special ice cakes filled with their individual favorite foods and scents. Additionally, the pandas also receive birthday enrichment like cardboard “presents” filled with leafeater biscuits and paper chains. We are currently working on some special plans for all the ice cakes, but you’ll have to wait to see. I hope you’re excited. Xi Lun (pictured) looks like she is!
Danica W.
Swing Keeper I, Mammals


Sorry, but I can't include the picture.  sosad
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hermit
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« Reply #2214 on: August 14, 2017, 08:43:36 PM »

August 14, 2017
Now that the cubs are older and have been eating leafeater biscuits more reliably and more quickly, we can start the process of training them. We have talked about training in previous posts but to reiterate, all of our training is completely voluntary on the animals’ parts, and it is all positive reinforcement based. Training is beneficial to both the keepers/vets and to the animals. It is mentally and physically stimulating for the animals, and it allows them to participate in their own care. The adults know numerous behaviors such as shoulder presentation for vaccinations or arm presentation for blood draws, among other behaviors. The cubs will not be able to do those things right out of the gate. Soon, the cubs will begin learning some basic behaviors such as positioning themselves in front of a target, shifting, presenting their paws, and lying down. Once they have the concept of training down and have learned these basic behaviors, the keepers can start teaching them some of the more advanced behaviors that their parents know. It will take some time, but in the end, the training benefits all involved. The training keeps the panda’s minds engaged and thinking, and it enables the keepers and vet staff to better care for them. Training is a win/win activity.
Shauna D.
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hermit
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« Reply #2215 on: August 17, 2017, 12:07:42 AM »

August 16, 2017
Ya Lun and Xi Lun have been interested in and playing with bamboo for several months now. However, just in the last couple of weeks, their interactions with bamboo have intensified. Last week, I saw Ya Lun purposefully bite off two leaves and chew them for several minutes before she spit them out. This increased interest in the bamboo is expected for cubs of their age — 11 to 12 months. Very soon, they will began to ingest the bamboo. However, they are still several months away from relying on bamboo as their primary source of nutrition. They will still nurse from Lun Lun for as long as she will allow them to do so. Over the next several months, they will increase their intake of bamboo and work on perfecting their techniques for processing the bamboo. They will figure the easiest way to hold the stem while they peel away the outer layer and decide if stripping off a whole branch of leaves or picking off one leaf at a time works best for them. This is a bittersweet milestone. It’s wonderful because they are growing and healthy, but it means that soon they will no longer be babies.
Heather R.
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hermit
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« Reply #2216 on: August 18, 2017, 09:02:51 PM »

August 18, 2017
This is the first time I have been around for a panda birthday, and it’s super fun that all four giant pandas are celebrating their birthdays so close to one another. If you have followed the Zoo Atlanta pandas for a while, you know that every year each panda is presented with an ice “cake” filled with their favorite scents and food items. So what exactly goes into making these ice cakes?

First and most importantly, it’s a team effort by the entire panda care staff. We brainstormed ideas for this year as well as talked about methods from previous years that worked well. After a final design is chosen, a detailed day by day schedule of what has to be completed is written out so that we can make sure we get the cakes done on time. It’s not quite as simple as freezing a few buckets of water and stacking them atop one another.

To get the varying colors and layers, we have to freeze everything in stages, being sure we account for what the next step is. This includes many trips up to the Animal Nutrition Kitchen freezer , where we have been lucky enough to have our own little space to work in. The Animal Nutrition Kitchen staff has been very accommodating, and they don’t hesitate to help us with the emergency sweet potato we might need to stabilize the latest tier we have made.

Working primarily in a freezer means taking turns tapping out with the other keeper you’re working with to ensure that the cake is the only thing that freezes. While we have a pretty detailed plan of what we are going to do, we have to improvise and ideas come up as we go. It’s been fun to watch all our work come together! Lun Lun’s cake is just about finished for her birthday in a week, and the other cakes for the twins and Yang Yang are being executed and planned as well. I’d show you a picture, but I’d hate to ruin the surprise! So for now enjoy this picture of Xi Lun in the “panda puddle” pose, and make sure you come visit or tune into Panda Cam next week to see the final product!
Danica W.
Swing Keeper I, Mammals


Sorry that I can't post the picture of Xi Lun.  sosad
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hermit
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« Reply #2217 on: August 21, 2017, 08:47:33 PM »

August 21, 2017
Due to his increased play behaviors and soliciting attention from keepers, we have been housing Yang Yang in Dens One through Three overnight. This way, he can hang out behind the scenes with us while we are closing down the building, and we are able to easily access his den area for any training sessions before we leave. One of my favorite ways to spend extra time at the end of the day is to just sit outside Yang’s den and hang out with him. He is a giant goofball and likes to run back and forth through his dens and play “tag” with his keepers too (we are always of course on the other side of the protective barrier and never share a space with him). Yang’s overnight sleeping arrangement also means that we can give Lun and the cubs both dayrooms overnight. When we first started doing this, the cubs wouldn’t stray very far from Lun Lun, unless they fell asleep on the structures and she was still foraging between the dayrooms. Gradually, Xi Lun began sleeping on the structure in Dayroom One, and Ya Lun quickly followed. This morning we found Lun and cubs fast asleep in separate structures. The girls have started taking up all the space on the Dayroom One structure, so Lun Lun nestled in at the top of the teepee structure in Dayroom Two. I’m sure Lun Lun enjoyed the quiet time to herself, and it’s great to see the girls gaining independence. They are almost 1 year old after all!
Danica W.
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hermit
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« Reply #2218 on: August 23, 2017, 07:49:46 PM »

August 23, 2017
If you watch our PandaCam, you may have noticed recently that during the day, both cubs like to nap on the flat part of the structure in dayroom one. Just a few months ago, Ya Lun preferred to rest in the crook on the left side of the structure, and Xi Lun slept on the flat part. Now, Ya Lun is also preferring to sleep on the flat part. It turns out that Ya Lun is a bit of a “bed” hog. We often see Xi Lun squished up into the right corner of the structure or Ya Lun’s back end is draped over Xi Lun’s head. Xi Lun doesn’t seem to mind too much. She always has the option to move or push her sister away, but chooses to accept her sister’s invasion of her space.
Heather R.
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« Reply #2219 on: August 25, 2017, 09:00:09 PM »

August 25, 2017


Happy 20th birthday, Lun Lun! We hope everyone was able to tune in to see our favorite mama bear enjoying her birthday surprises earlier this afternoon.

In cub news, it’s official – the girls have reached another milestone! They now have their own allotment of leafeater biscuits and a small amount of sweet potato. This is so they stop stealing as many of Mom’s biscuits as they have been lately. The girls have never had sweet potato, so it will take a while for them to like it. Giant pandas are food neophobic, which is fancy talk for “I don’t like new foods.” The reason we’re not using apple or banana right now is so that Lun won’t steal their food as much, either! All of our cubs have started out on their own allotment of sweet potato, with a bit of apple and banana thrown in as a treat. I’m sure these girls will take to the yummy sweet potatoes just as their older siblings did. If you look carefully at the picture of the girls’ containers, you’ll notice that we’re reusing Mei Lun’s and Mei Huan’s containers! You can kind of see a “ML” and “MH” underneath the new initials. They are still in good shape, so why not?


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