Enrichment: Fun For Everyone

Posted at 3:24 pm August 25, 2010 by Yvette Kemp

Panda Bai Yun manipulates an enrichment item with her bamboo.

Enrichment is a big part of what keepers do at most zoos these days. But did you know that it isn’t just the keepers who are involved in making enrichment opportunities for our animals? 

Determining the type of enrichment that an animal will get is a very big process. Kym Nelson mentioned in a past blog post that enrichment needs to be approved, and that is very true (see New View of Enrichment). So how does it work? 

First, the keeper comes up with an idea. That idea needs to fulfill various criteria: is this an item this species would use? Will it cause friction among the group if there is more than one animal? What behavior is the enrichment meant to encourage? Is it store-bought or will it need to be made? If so, what materials are involved? 

Next, the keeper fills out a form with their enrichment idea; the idea is then considered and approved by supervisors, managers, a staff nutritionist, and veterinarians to assure that whatever we offer each animal is appropriate for that animal. Once the supervisor and manager determine the item is appropriate then the nutritionist and veterinarian need to make sure the item is okay. Does it involve food? How will the item be presented? Will it be harmful? What are the item limitations? What are the protocols that need to be followed? 

Volunteers put together a bamboo climbing structure.

After the requested enrichment has reached this stage, it needs to be obtained or built. This is where a whole new team of people become involved. We have Construction & Maintenance Department staff who assist with building some of the more complicated items such as hammocks made of donated fire hoses, chutes, and climbing structures, and more. There are enrichment volunteers who help build nylon hammocks, cardboard box animals, bamboo feeders, hay beds, and more. There is the Development Department staff who help raise money to purchase items and tools to make enrichment through the Animal Care Wish List and Adopt an Animal programs. There’s the Horticulture Department that saves logs, bamboo, palm fronds, pine cones, and other green items from around Zoo and Safari Park grounds that keepers and animals can use. 

Who might enjoy this cardboard enrichment animal?

And sometimes there’s that call to staff for different scents or items. “Don’t like that old bottle of perfume? The cats will love it!” “Bird and reptile keepers, do you have any extra cardboard tubes your crickets came in that you don’t need any more? The meerkats can use that!” It’s ultimate recycling! 

We also have local companies that donate items. Café Moto always saves the coffee burlap bags for our use; they make great beds and super-hero capes for orangutans and bonobos. And the fire stations give us their old hoses to make hammocks and fire hose balls. 

We have to remember that it’s not just the keepers who come up with enrichment ideas—other people do, too. Sometimes, as keepers, we get in a “rut” and can’t think of something new we can do for the animals in our care. That’s when it’s good to talk with the people around us and with keepers from other institutions, and research ideas on the Internet or enrichment listserve, a place where animal care professionals share ideas about enrichment (yes, this thing exists!.) 

So you see, enrichment doesn’t just involve a few people; it involves everyone, which is always fun! 

Yvette Kemp is a senior hospital keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Koalapalooza: Vets Share, Too!  

Update: Panda fans are helping raise money to rent a crane to place new climbing structures and trees in the panda exhibit. If you’d like to contribute, visit the Zoo’s September Wish List and scroll down to the third item on the list: “Crane Rental for Panda Enrichment.”

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147 Responses to “Enrichment: Fun For Everyone”

  1. April says:

    We love toys and watching the animals play with them! Thanks for the interesting blog. Who knew providing a toy would have this much thought put into it? It would be fun to have an online form posted on the website where the zoo could collect enrichment ideas from SDZ Fans. I am sure there would be lots of interesting ideas brought forth.

    Moderator’s note: That’s a great idea! Our readers are creative and clever folk.

  2. Britney says:

    I just went to pandas live on to check out what is going on in the panda world. I came along this adorable video, if you have not seen it, here it is : http://www(dot)pandasliveon(dot)com/giantpandas/2010/08/dancing-panda-videos(dot)html

    A must see!

  3. Margaret in VA says:

    Thanks Yvette, for a very entertaining and educational blog about enrichment. Since reading various zoos information about enrichment, I have been more mindful of things to use for enrichment for my dogs, and the birds that visit my yard. It is fascinating to read about the creative ideas people have for recycling many items that still have years of productive use, and keep them out of landfills.

  4. Annie Panda says:

    Thank you, Yvette, for the post!

  5. Britney says:

    I just checked out Pandas International, they are going to tour China, and do vounter work with the pandas, I really want to go, they are leaving September 22, I got to save my money!

  6. Annie Panda says:

    Thank you for the post! The enrichement items sound very interesting, and fun to make! It’s good that you recyle things and make them into enrichment items, I think it’s so cool how you can make old fire hoses into a hammock! I love watching the pandas (mostly Zhen Zhen) playing with their little toys! Once on the panda cam, Yun Zi was trying to squeeze himself into a tube, to small for him! 🙂 Also, thank you for the note about the Crane Rental for Panda Rental. I think if we all pitch in, we’ll have enough money in just a few months! I earned $10 today for cleaning my 2 brother’s room and ironing their school uniforms. I will donate more money tonight! By the way, I donated $20 last night and I will see if I can earn more money!!

    Anne in NYC- Thanks for donating! 🙂

    Peace, Love and Pandas Ciao!!

  7. Annie Panda says:

    I am so glad so many people are donating to the Panda Crane Rental! Does anyone know how many people have donated, and how much money we have made yet?? I would really, really like to know!! Thanks,
    Annie Panda 😀

    Moderator’s note: I just checked with our Wish List coordinator and she said we need $2,170, which means panda fans have donated over $900 so far!

  8. kat w says:

    Very interesting blog, Yvette…made a donation in honor of my Zhennie….there can’t be enough enrichment in this world….especially the panda world!


    Aunt Kat

    Moderator’s note: Our pandas thank you, Aunt Kat.

  9. Britney says:

    Annie Panda, how did you earn money? I earned $10 today, I think I will save it for the China tour to go vountier with the pandas!!

  10. Karen of Chandler says:

    Thank you for the blog on enrichment for the Pandas. I sure love watching the pandas play with the toys as well as all the other animals on the other cams. I really loved watching Yun Zi playing with enrichment toys.

  11. Caitie in Ohio says:

    I think it’s wonderful that zoos do that for the animals….it makes it so much more enjoyable for them..what a great life!

  12. Lucilla says:

    Dear Panda Friends, If you go to the Adelaide Zoo Panda Blog, there is a cute video on Making Panda Cake where the nannykeeper for Funi and Wang Wang show how to make the Chinese Panda Cake and she makes a special treat for Funi’s recent bearday. Enjoy.

  13. kat w says:

    I am feeling something in my gut….I feel like the girls are going now. I understand how the SD Zoo can’t tell us when they are to depart, but I have had a sadness in my heart all day today. With “Window of Love” by Llewellyn playing in the background (flute, asian flair instrumental), I can just see Zhennie and Su Lin looking out their windows right now. I tear as I write this. They look out their windows, lovingly, waving goodbye in their hearts, tears of sadness making their way down their beautiful white furry faces.

    I wish we had some sign from China that they will take good care of our girls. Maybe it is a given to them, but it would just be nice, something from them to calm our nerves and fears.

    Moderator’s note: The girls are still here 😉

  14. Annie Panda says:

    #9 Britney- Hi, I just wanted to tell you I earned money by cleaning around the house, organizing the book shelf and doing basic chores. I have donated $20 so far and will donate $10 tonight. I am planning on saving up as much money as possible!! 🙂

    -Annie Panda

  15. Mae was from NJ says:

    Regarding ‘old bottle of perfume’ – my husband has some bottles of after shave & cologne that he won’t use. Can I bring them to the zoo the next time I visit?

    Moderator’s note: I’ll find out.

  16. Laurie in Baltimore says:

    Thanks to the Moderator and the SDZ for coordinating and accommodating us by allowing contributions in smaller amounts toward the crane rental for the pandas! The power of the panda fans will have this done in no time! My donation is in! Can’t wait to see the new climbing structures and trees! 😀

    Moderator’s note: Thank YOU for your donation, Laurie!

  17. Bernice in the Yukon says:

    Wonderful post…zoos have come so far from the days of just caging animals…must be fun for staff to try to ‘think’ like an animal in terms of what to creat for an animal to explore/play with…I don’t have any credit cards…is the SDZ mailing address somewhere on the website so I can make an enrichment donation (I will send US $)…thank you again for such wonderful care of all animals.

    Moderator’s note: That is very nice of you, Bernice! Here’s our mailing address: San Diego Zoo, P.O. Box 120551, San Diego, CA 92112-0551.

  18. Lucilla says:

    ‘Her name was Bai Bai and she was a great girl, With yellow ribbons in her fur and a dress right down to there, she could merangue and do the cha cha, oh boy, could she cha cha!!’ and with that the Gaoster dances into the compound and grabs Bai Yun for a quick dance and sealed with a kiss.

    ‘Hee Hee, Papa, not in front of the kids!’ chides Bai as the jaws of Yunnie and Zhen Zhen have fallen to the ground.

    ‘And I thought you said Mama and Papa are old!’ grins Yunnie.

    ‘Well, they are elderly…’ whispers Zhen Zhen, ‘that’s why you have to perk them up when Su and I return to China…’

    ‘They don’t need my help, I think, hee hee!’ laughs Yunnie and loudly he asks, ‘Papa, what do you mean when you say a dress right down to there?’

    ‘Well, son, let me tell you when your Mama was a young subadult she…’

    And with lightning speed, Bai clamps a paw on Gao Gao, ‘Can you go and check on my baking boo cakes, Yunnie?’

    Just as he gets up to go, in bounces Lin Ping. ‘SAWADEE KA, everybody and greetings to you uncle and aunty. Papa sends you a keg of beer with his warmest regards, Uncle Gao.’

    Immediately, she and Zhen Zhen get into a hip hop dance routine that they have been practising for the opening of the CopaPandamania, the latest club which will debut during the Black and White Overnight with specially invited hoomans. Yunnie also gets a short spot doing an electric boogaloo routine.

    Bai Yun rolls her eyes as Gao says, ‘Hee, hee, chip of the old Gao block.’

    Su Lin comes running in and says, ‘Guess what? Aunty Yang Yang has just had a baby. I saw it on my iPAW.’

    ‘WOWWWIEE, another baby Panda! Yayayay!’ yells Yunnie as he breaks dance in delight.

    ‘Yes, she called me to tell me just now. Smooth delivery. On Fu Long’s birthday too, very auspicious!’ smiles Bai Yun.

    ‘Hmmm, and if Aunty Lun Lun has a cubbie, there will be more Panda love to go around!’ cheers Lin Ping who is doing her Stevie moves.

    ‘And next Spring, it is time for the Gao Family to expand….eh, Babe?’ Gao Gao smiles innocently at Bai.

    ‘Which hoomans are coming for the Black and White?’ asks Bai to change the subject even as a pink flush appears on her fluffy cheeks as Gao gives her beautiful behind a pinch.

    ‘Aunty Weeta!!!!!’ yells Yunnie. ‘Maybe she will take a colour photo of us for a change! Hahahaha!’

    ‘Ohhhhh, that is so lame!’ yells Zhen Zhen. The Panda Grrls get up and go to the dance studio in the CopaPandamania club hidden in the heart of SDZ to practice for B & W Overnight.

    To Be Continued

  19. inparadise says:

    Did anyone notice that the Panda Cam only showed Bai and Yunior today?

  20. Annie Panda says:

    I just donated $10 to the Crane Rental to put in new climbing structures and trees for the the panda exhibits. I also donated $20 last night, and I will try to earn more money! I hope we can have enough money by the end of September! I encourage everyone to pitch in and donate some money! It’s just $10, and every donation counts!
    Peace, Love and Pandas CIAO!
    Annie Panda

    Moderator’s note: Yea, Annie Panda!

  21. Annie Panda says:

    I have a question and anyone can answer: I’ve heard that a lot of animals are color blind, and I was wondering if Pandas are too? Do they have eyes like humans, see in black and white (haha, that would be funny because they are black and white!) etc. ?
    I am very curious so- Please answer! 🙂
    Annie Panda

    Moderator’s note: Zoo Atlanta did a study on panda color vision and found they can see several shades of green, as well as other colors.

  22. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! Did alot of catching up reading the 2 latest articles and the comments. I’m very glad that all of you that were at B&W Overnite had a great time! Wish I could have been there, but the trip from Florida to California was not happening because of the huge expense involved, and I didn’t have the finances! I did see the video of the Panda Wave by the whole bunch of overniters, and saw all of the flickr pics that were put online by a person who was there. I loved the ones of the pandas, especially of Yuni playing with his box and getting his stomach all covered with that black powder stuff! BTW, does anyone know what that black powder stuff was that wound up on Yuni? Hope someone can answer that one! I also absolutely loved the one pic of Bai Yun standing up showing off her rolls on her body! Didn’t know that grown pandas will have rolls on them! Oh yeah, the pics of Yuni were soooooo adorable with that great look on his face after he got done tearing up that box and just laying on the ground enjoying the moment–with the black powder on his stomach! And, as uaual, a pic of Su Lin sitting with her back to everyone is a classic! The pics of ZZ and Gao were great, also.

    Read one of the comments that Yang Yang at Schonbrunn Zoo in Vienna is a 2nd time mom again with another baby panda cub! YEA!!! Congrats to everyone in Vienna and the panda keepers at the zoo! I also wish that they had a pandacam there, too! Would love to watch this little cub grow up and develop!

    Happy Birthday to Lun Lun (belated!) who turned 13 years old! Still waiting for any news about whether she will have a cub later on! Atlanta Zoo’s panda keepers are planning a big bday celebration for all 3 pandas in September. Check the AZ website’s panda page for more info.

    Checked the pandacams on the NZ panda page. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are doing their normal everyday stuff indoors and outdoors. No new updates from the panda keepers since June 23, and nothing from the NZ officials about whether Mei and Tian will stay in DC or go home to China at the end of this year.

    Well, gonna go for now. Will be back later on!

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  23. Lucilla says:

    Today there was an article in our local newspaper to provide an update on the Pandas coming to Singapore. Our local zoo is devoting all available space to growing bamboo for our guest Pandas. It is trying to grow 4 varieties; Buddha’s belly bamboo, Ougon-kou chiku bamboo, hedge bamboo and Siamese bamboo.

    The pair will be housed in a new River Safari enclosure that is being built at the Singapore Zoological Gardens. The naming cotest has a $2 fee with the money going to panda conservation. And on the zoo website there is a photo of the pandas.

    And so Singapore’s Panda Adventure starts.

  24. Lucilla says:

    ‘MAMA! MAMA!’

    ‘YES, Yunnie, what is it?’

    ‘What is the Black and White Overnight that the jie jies are excited about?’

    ‘THAT, ah, is very special. That night all the pandas gather for a sleepover and we get to see some of our hooman friends who will join us. Some of them will dress like pandas too.’

    ‘Hee Hee! I can’t wait! Can I dress like a hooman then?’

    ‘And what will you like to wear?’

    ‘A baseball cap, a cool T that says Pandas Rock, some bermudas and sneekers! Can I can I, Mama? Oh Oh and I want to wear sunshades!’

    ‘It is a night event!’

    ‘But I wull wook kool!’ begs Yunnie.

    ‘Yeah, lets see how cool you’ll look when you fall off a tree with the shades on, ‘ sighs Bai.

    ‘Can I, can I, please Mama? Puhleeeeze?’

    ‘Go ask your Papa!’

    To Be Continued.

  25. lu says:

    Like everyone else, thank you for the blog. I saw the wish list last nite and wrote a note to see how I
    could send a check. The response was very fast and again great people, I will be sending a check tomorrow. It is fun to see all of the animals enrichment toys. Love the blogs that everyone writes, all very

    Moderator’s note: Thank you for helping provide enrichment for our pandas, lu.

  26. Joy :) says:

    I love enrichment for the pandas!!!
    I think if I were choosing a career now, I would be an “animal enrichment specialist” because I love coming up with new ways to play! I like that idea of having a place where we can provide suggestions.

    So, enrichment is a team experience.

    I will be there for a week starting on Monday. Looking forward to seeing what enrichment is given to the pandas during my visit.
    Joy 🙂

    Moderator’s note: We look forward to your visit, Joy!

  27. Cindy says:

    You all do such a great job and take such good care of the animals. I love reading up on all the informative blogs you post. 🙂

  28. Bobbie Wood says:

    JD in Florida # 79 of the prior blog: Thank you for posting your photographs of the Pandas! I loved the close-ups of fur, feet, power lift, and Gao Gao! Well, I loved all of the pictures! 🙂

    To all: Make sure you view them as well 🙂

  29. Cindy in East Lansing says:

    Another interesting and very educational post. Thanks, Yvette. The words “enrichment items” remind me of how my brother and I would receive what were then called “educational toys” when we were growing up. All this time, that’s exactly what the animals get, too. Shhh… don’t tell Yun Zi he’s playing with an “educational toy.”

    Loved the picture of Bai Yun, too. One can practically hear gears turning in that beautiful head of hers.

  30. Linda A. / NorCA says:

    Many thanks for the post, Yvette. I think the “enrichment” items give us cam watchers as much entertainment as they do the pandas!

  31. Virginia Spiegler says:

    The picture of Bai Yun playing with the tire is incredible. We forget she is not just a mama. She is veryplayful with Yun Zi! What a list of things to make other things.!! I am sure few realized that so much comes from so little! Or so big too! One thing I learned is that what appears to be a certain toy to us becomes something else to a panda! So much joy can become a learning experience. The disc on the water for Yunior for instance. He seems to have lost his “fear” and maybe soon he will bathe with gusto?? Making circular toys go around and around is another joy for them and us. Thanks many times for these blogs. We never know how much you all really do!!

  32. Lee in Vancouver says:

    OMG pandaholics! We have raised $1000.00 already toward the Crane Rental. That’s in just more than a day and a half. Only 2K more to go. I don’t know about you but I have tears of joy falling right now.

    I want to thank everyone at the San Diego Zoo who have taken this small suggest of mine and made the change. Pennies or in this case $10.00 bills do add up quickly if we all do it together.

    Moderator’s note: Panda fans are caring, generous people, and we thank you all!

  33. kat w says:

    Thank you, Moderator, for your confirmation… = O )

  34. Janan Huntsberry says:

    Very interesting article. Were all the enrichment boxes used from the overnight? I am wondering why we all knew last year when the Panda’s were leaving from Wash. DC and Atlanta, but it is a secret when they are leaving from the SDZ?
    Has there been a change in policy? There were fans to send off the others…..?? Tears come into my eyes as I think of the girls leaving. Hopefully Bai will have a new baby next summer to give us more joy!

    Moderator’s note: Each zoo has its own way of doing things.

  35. Sumi Haru says:

    Very interesting–Bai Yun is using bamboo as a tool! She is so smart.

  36. Echelon says:

    Are there any plans to upgrade the PandaCam like the Polar’s and Elephants? I would LOVE to see our dear panda’s in HD 😀

    Moderator’s note: Not at this time.

  37. Diane of Lincoln, Ca. says:

    Yes! #19 that was on my mind also.

    Just donated to the Panda Crane Rental . Looking forward to the new enrichment structures.

    Thank you all for your articles on panda life and needs. Also, kudos to our moderator for their special


    Moderator’s note: You’re welcome, and thank you for your contribution!

  38. Anne in NYC says:

    Maybe we do need Aunty Weeta to take color pix so I can see a bear blush! Always wondered how that would look.

  39. kat w says:

    YAY!!! There’s our girls, in their yards! Thank you cammies!

  40. AC in NYC says:

    Annie Panda, you are such an inspiration, I just donated.
    Su Lin and ZZ, have a safe trip. I will miss you girls, Su’s sweetness and ZZ’s silliness.
    Mama Bai looks so wise and adorable in the picture above.

    Moderator’s note: Thank you for your donation, AC!

  41. Frances in NYC says:

    How nice to see Miss ZZ sitting in her bed o’ boo basking in the sun and just chowing down. Love you, Zhennie!

  42. Andrea in Ontario says:

    I wish with everything I’ve got that I could volunteer for this zoo as well and see Bai Yun, Yun Zi, Zhen Zhen, Su Lin and Gao Gao more often, but I live in Canada. I did manage to visit in person earlier this summer. It was such a great experience!

    I’m also really excited since I’ve been keeping up with the press for the Toronto Zoo and they’re aiming to bring pandas to Canada in 2015. Keep your fingers crossed!!

    I’ve just donated to the crane rental too! It’s the least I can do for the precious creatures that got me interested in conservation and travelling this year to see the pandas worldwide (SD zoo, Ocean Park HK, Shanghai Wild Animal Parkb – expo panda cubs!). If we keep up the pace we’re going, we’ll probably even be able to raise enough before September =)

    Moderator’s note: Thank you for your donation, Andrea! It’s good to know pandas help inspire conservation efforts!

  43. Echelon says:

    Where are the polar’s today? I’ve been checking back every so often but i havent seen them!? Are they just off exhibit for the day? Ooh has it got something to do with Chinook? *wink wink* 😀 oh and thanks for the reply on the cams, much appreciated! 😀 xxx

  44. pandafan-north says:

    Did my bit to raise the total on the crane rental! Knowing us, panda fans, we’ll have the money needed very soon.

    Moderator’s note: Thank you, pandafan-north. We’re now half-way there!!

  45. Annie Panda says:

    I can’t wait till tomorrow! August 27 is Tian Tian’s birthday! In case you don’t know, Tian Tian is a male panda at the D.C. Zoo. His mate is Mei Xiang and they are both the parents of the famous Tai Shan! Tian Tian is also Bai Yun’s half brother! They have the same father, Pan Pan! I hope Tian Tian gets lots of toffee apples tomorrow! 🙂 Love you Cutie Pie!!

    Peace, Love and Pandas CIAO!

    P.S. I’m so glad we ALMOST have enough money for the crane rental!! Keep donating people!! I donated $30, anyone wanna match my donation? 😉 Keep it going!

  46. Annie Panda says:

    I would love to hear about how our little baby pie, Yun Zi is doing! I feel like I haven’t heard about him for a while now! I know he doesn’t sit still for measurements anymore, but is there an estimation on how big he is? How much does he weigh? I saw him on the Panda Cam yesterday, and I thought he was either Zhennie or Su Lin, he looked so big!! That would be GREAT if we could get a little update on him soon!! I gotta say- he is my favorite!!

    Moderator’s note: I’ll find out his current weight.

  47. Annie Panda says:

    Right now I am watching a show on T.V. about some pandas at a breeding center in China. They were just showing 2 ADORABLE twin pandas and the silly mom! A man that is in charge of the panda cubs, actually went up to the mother and pet her and gave her a ball to chew on, right in her cage! Sadly, one of the panda cubs died at ONLY 9 months! Now, they are talking about a panda they saved in the wild, they also said that one year (I didn’t quit hear what year it was) 140 pandas died in the wild because of starvation! Awww, they just showed a panda getting weighed! He was in a little basket on a scale and wiggling around and then fell out! 🙂 These pandas are so cute!! I wish I could hold a panda like the people there too! Ohh, I could go on and on, but it’s almost over, so I have to watch!!

    This is so great! 😀

  48. Annie Panda says:

    I found an article on the Fox News Website about Yang Yang’s new born panda cub!

    foxnews (dot) com/world/2010/08/24/cute-second-healthy-panda-cub-born-austria-just-years/

    Also, here is the Panda Dancing Video that was on the News just the other night:

    video (dot) foxnews (dot) com/v/4318804/baby-panda-busts-a-move-at-chinese-zoo

    🙂 So cute!!

  49. claudia_n from ROME says:

    Great idea the list with small amount! I’ve just made a donation to contribute effectively to the wealthy of the Giant Panda (but I’ve also taken the occasion to help their other “cousin”, the red panda… all the animals should be helped, even if their may seems less “fashion” of our beloved blanck&white friends!!).

    Pls keep us informed about the project and hope to see so new photoes of SDZ Pandas dealing with enrichment cranes.
    Thanks to all the SDZ Keepers!

    Moderator’s note: Thank you for helping both giant and red pandas, Claudia! The crane will help move large new climbing structures into the panda exhibit, which they will enjoy.

  50. Annie Panda says:

    Happy THIRTEENTH Birthday Tian Tian!!

  51. Danielle, NY says:

    Yang Yang has left her newborn cub alone for the first time, apparently it is quite warm in Vienna and she must have been thirsty. You can see the cub on the diary that the Zoo is keeping. www(dot)zoovienna(dot)at/news/neuigkeiten-rund-um-das-pandajunge/
    It is written in German but I am sure you can get a good translation using Google.
    The contrast on that picture is not very good and the cub is hard to see, but the cub can be seen very easily on the bottom picture when Yang Yang is nursing it.
    Since it is Yang Yang’s second cub, we may see other changes in behavior; she left Fu Long alone for the first time after 6 days, as she has gained experience raising Fu Long.
    Lun Lun also behaved differently with Xi Lan than with Mei Lan, poor Mei Lan could not climb on anything, her mother would bring her down!!! She didn’t act the same way with Xi Lan, he could sleep on “his” hammock structure in peace without being yanked back on earth…
    I wonder if such change in behavior was observed with Bai Yun as well. Did she act differently with Mei Sheng that she did with Hua Mei?

    Moderator’s note: We have indeed noticed Bai Yun’s changing mothering skills with each cub. You can check our blog archives to review some of those differences.

  52. Kelly says:

    This is perhaps a tad off topic, but I am wondering, is Bai Yun going to have another cub, or has she retired from mommyhood? I ask because I love watching the new ones grow up, and with Zhen and Su going to China, who will give us babies to watch here?

    Panda Team responds: If Bai Yun shows normal behavioral and physiolgical signs of estrus in 2011, we will pair her with Gao Gao again. From our records of females in zoos, pandas over 18 are less likely to bear offspring. That said, Bai Yun has always shown exemplary reproductive behavior, so who knows what she has in store for us.

  53. barbara says:

    Okay Panda People, Let’s show them what we’re made of. I just made my 3rd donation to the crane fund. Every little bit helps, we were able to get the cooler for our babies so I’m sure we can do this in the next few days, just think of it as a tribute to Su Lin and Zhen Zhen. we got our kids doing chores for money so let’s follow their example. LET’S GO PANDA PEOPLE

    Moderator’s note: Thank you, barbara, for your continued donations!

  54. PANDA LADY IN PHX says:

    I have noticed, the NZ bears with their toys that hold treats inside, balls or dumb bells,
    both Tai Shan (he used to anyways) and Tian, roll it on the ground til something falls out. Mei on the other hand, holds it over her head and shakes out the treats. See if any of you agree.
    Bye bye Su and Zhen. Have lots of cubbies for us to follow

  55. Andrea in Ontario says:

    #45 Annie Panda – I learned about their family connection from reading somewhere..it’s such a small world with captive breeding…I also recently got in the loop and figured out that Tuan Tuan in Taiwan is Bai Yun’s grandson.

    Does anyone know any more family ties between the pandas worldwide? Or any sources showing the family trees etc? I think it would be interesting to track where everyone came from and where all their descendants are going!

    #51 Danielle – I noticed Bai Yun constantly yanking Yun Zi down off the climbing structures in the classroom exhibit when he first started climbing, and it was her fifth cub. I guess they all have different styles of teaching, or maybe Zhennie fell way too much for Bai’s liking. Thanks for the diary too! I like looking at the pics haha

  56. Danielle, NY says:

    #51 Moderator’s note – Thanks, but the oldest blog is from May 2003 and even though Mei Sheng was born in August 2008, I can’t find blogs about it. It seems that the blogs about Giant Pandas started just before Su Lin’s birth. From what I read about other panda mothers, it seems that most of the changes in mothering are with the second cub as the mother has so much to learn taking care of her first offspring. I might try to read more of the old blogs over the week-end to try to find a description of those changes with Bai Yun. But if you know which blog is dealing with that aspect of Bai Yun’s mothering skills, it would be very helpful and very much appreciated.

    Moderator’s note: It is true that we didn’t start providing blog posts about pandas until just before Su Lin’s birth. I just thought perhaps you could read those posts and see for yourself if Bai Yun cared for each cub in the same way or if she changed it up. You have three cubs to compare 😉

  57. Moderator says:

    #1 April
    If anyone has enrichment ideas, they can send them along in any blog comment and I’ll forward them to our enrichment folks.

    #15 Mae
    We can accept unopened, sealed (i.e., brand-new) bottles of perfume to be used as scent enrichment for many of our animals. Donations can be dropped off at our Guest Services office near the Zoo’s entrance.

  58. pandafan-north says:

    #55 Andrea in Ontario – Hello from Alberta! For information on “panda connections” (who’s related to whom) you might find some good info on pandasliveon (dot) com. This is a great sight run by another panda fan.

  59. Mary in Brooklyn says:

    Is it possible to break down the wish list item for polar bear snow into $10 increments. I’d like to contribute to that project, but don’t have an extra few thousand lying around.

    Moderator’s note: Your suggestion has been forwarded to our Wish List coordinator.

  60. Mary in Brooklyn says:

    Do you know if anybody has done any research with the effects of traditional Chinese flute music on the bears. Traditional Chinese music is quite lovely and very calming to me. I have some native American flutes and have often thought of testing the hypothesis. However, don’t want to cause anyone any problems.

    Moderator’s note: I’ll forward your suggestion, Mary.

  61. Danielle, NY says:

    #54 PANDA LADY IN PHX – If I remember correctly, Tai Shan inherited his daddy’s handling of the enrichment items containing treats, shaking it and making it roll until the treats would come out, as Mei Xiang seems to use her brain to try to get the treats out as easily as possible!! I think one post was written about it on the NZ website, but I don’t remember when.
    Don’t miss the post of August 2, on the Atlanta Zoo Website. Joseph explains his idea for an enrichment item for the pandas and other animals. It is basically a section of PVC pipe containing bells inside, capped at both ends and with holes drilled along the pipe. It is an enrichment that makes noise, and he explains that Xi Lan was trying to take it apart as Lun Lun was playing with it. I hope we will find out how Yang Yang reacts to it. That could be a good addition to the SDZ pandas’ enrichment items, if they don’t have noisy items yet. That could be correlated to the hearing study, looking at how the pandas react to it and if it correlates to their hearing capacity. Just an idea…

    Moderator’s note: I’ll forward your idea.

  62. Frances in NYC says:

    Andrea #55–I don’t remember Zhennie falling a lot, but she climbed way way up in the trees. I think Bai didn’t want Yun Zi to climb up that far. Just guessing as always–but it is amazing how Bai has adjusted the way she treats her cubs, both in view of her learning from each one and in seeming to adjust herself to their individual temperaments.

    I just donated to the crane–can’t wait to see what new things the zoo comes up with for the pandas to climb on.

    Moderator’s note: Thanks for donating towards the crane rental, Frances!

  63. Moderator says:

    #46 Annie Panda

    Yun Zi’s weight as of August 25 is 52 pounds (23.7 kilograms). Our Meet the Pandas page has been updated as well for all of our pandas.

  64. dd says:

    #54, Panda Lady in Phx–I am also in Phoenix! As to the NZ pandas, yes, they do things differently! Mama Mei always shakes the treat ball. Tian likes to use his head–literally! He most often will repeatedly nose the treat ball up the rocks & let it roll back down to extract the treats. Tai had 2 standard methods–he would either bat the ball along the ground, or lay on his back & “juggle” it with all four feet. (Similar to the way Bai Yun likes to juggle her cubbies, lol!) They also eat their fruities differently. Mei is very lady-like, savoring each lick & nibble. Tian crunches! Tai eats his slowly, like Mei.
    I’ve learned over the years of watching the cams that each panda has his or her own unique personality, & you can often tell which one you’re watching by behavior alone!
    As for enrichment, I think we can all agree that the pandas are enrichment for us humans, just by being themselves!
    Thanks again to everyone on zoo staff everywhere (moderator, that includes YOU!) & to all of those contributing to this blog. You make me laugh, cry, & think!

    Moderator’s note: You’re very welcome! Maybe that can be the name of a new movie: Laugh, Cry, Think! 😉

  65. Helen in Washington DC says:

    #54 panda lady in phx – your observation about how Mei gets treats out of her balls or other “food tray” is right; she figures no sense in wasting time rolling the ball around when you can just shake it & treats fall in your mouth or tummy! Tai stumpled on doing it that way every once in a while but mostly took after dad/Tian playing with the ball over a period of time – good enrichment toys for them.

  66. Helen in Washington DC says:

    #45 Annie Panda – I saw your invitation to match your contribution, so I just did that (plus a little more), so thank you for your example of supporting the pandas (also gave a little for the red pandas too – we have them in DC as well).

    Moderator’s note: Very nice, Helen–thank you for your donation!

  67. Shirley says:

    What a darling live cam shot of Yun Zi chomping on boo. Is he getting very much of his nutrition that way? How often does he still nurse?

  68. Ginger says:

    I’ve donated twice to the Crane Rental. I encourage all of the panda fans to do what they can. Brown bag lunch and donate the saved money to the cause. Yun Zi is going to be another Yhennie when it comes to climbing and they need more climbing spaces. Please help.

    Moderator’s note: Great idea, Ginger! And thank you for your donation.

  69. Janan Huntsberry says:

    Just put in my donation for the crane. How close are we getting? What has the zoo been using to get those enrichment boxes up in the trees, and to hang things in the monkey and bird areas? Does anyone ever have to just go up and get
    Yun Zi at night as he seems so far up there!

    Moderator’s note: Thank you, Janan! We are getting closer; the last time I checked we had 159 “increments” to go. The crane will be used to place new climbing structures. For smaller items, keepers put things up as high as they can safely reach. And Yun Zi is too big to wrestle down a tree these days; if he wants to stay up there all night long, he can 😉

  70. Carol says:

    As much as we all would like to know ahead of time when Zhen Zhen and Su Lin are leaving, it does make a lot of sense not to turn the departure into a media event. It will be a lot less stressful for the bears if there aren’t crowds of people watching them depart.

  71. Pandalover says:

    Speaking of enrichment…..and the trees!

    Stumbled upon this on Flickr….ZZ being a true delight and loving her enrichment! Many thanks to the gentleman who recorded this…:)


  72. Pandalover says:

    One more….ZZ is the best helper! She could apply for a grounds position.


    Who knew a cardboard box could be so much fun?! Wonderful enrichment for Ms. Spunky!

  73. Pandalover says:

    Grab the tissues…Beautiful tribute to Su Lin!


  74. Bobbie Wood says:

    Pandalover 71,72,73: Thank you for the links!! Must see all three 🙂 🙂 🙂

  75. Danielle, NY says:

    #71, 72 and 73 Pandalover – Thank you so much for posting those links to the videos. The tribute to Su Lin is especially touching; don’t miss the written tribute under the video. And if you want to go down the memory lane of the panda blogs, here is the link to the announcement of Su Lin’s birth, one of the first panda blog: http://blogarchives.sandiegozoo.org/blog/2005/08/03/a-panda-is-born/

  76. Lisa in Maine says:

    #73 I won’t say you didn’t warn me. The photos in that flickr stream are glorious. I am dripping in tears especially from the write up. It sounds like whoever did the video really loves these girls. It states that one for Zhen Zhen will be posted soon. Keep your eyes open and get those tissues you are going to need them.

  77. Pandalover says:

    Danielle #75, thank you for the blog post of Su Lin’s birth.

  78. GRAMMMIE says:

    # 54 and several other places in this comment area……..And Bai Yun knows exactly what to do and how to get the snackies out of every place they are put. It seems to me she is more interessted in grabbing something to put in her mouth than playing with the to….us moms know how important it is for us to feed the baby first, so we can enjoy our dinner while it is still warm.

  79. Annie Panda says:

    Listen up people!!! PLEASE donate more to the crane rental!! We almost have enough money, and we’ve been doing SO well!! Keep up the good work, and make sure to- DONATE! DONATE! DONATE! Even if you have already, you can again! Tell other people about it and ENCOURAGE others to donate on the panda blogs! Theres always a way to help, anybody wanna match my donation? It’s $30! KEEP DONATING! I did!

  80. Frances in NYC says:

    Folks in the UK will have a treat starting on the 30th as one of their TV stations will be running short features about pandas every night at 6 p.m. That sounds like fun to me!

  81. Dawn from MA says:

    Thank you so much for making it possible for us Pandaholics to contribute smaller portions for the crane rental. Lee from Vancouver- Thanks for coming up with the idea. There is power in numbers. I made my donation in honor of all the Pandas at the SDZ and the joy that they give us. Yun Zi is becoming a really big boy now. I cannot believe he “stole” boo from his Momma…..hee hee.

    Thanks for a great story about the enrichment and how important it is. I will have to see the tributes to the girls. Thank you so much for taking good care of the animals especially the Pandas.

    Moderator’s note: Thanks for your donation, Dawn! We are over half way to our goal.

  82. weegee says:

    Hi all Pandaholics and LP’s Fans,

    Here’s a great footage of LP waltzing with Tor, the Panda team leader. I found it great to be used as an illustration in Lucilla’s Panda Tales.


  83. Susan (UK) says:

    Okay, I couldn’t resist. I tried, but failed miserably so two lots of crane rental donations on their way. I have watched so many videos and photos of Su and ZZ over the last few days and now there are more!! Absolute heaven, just wish it wasn’t in quite such sad circumstances.

    I think it was Diana(?) on the previous blog who saw Bai for the first time – yes, she is the most gorgeous panda. And so are all her children (and Gao Gao of course).

    Moderator’s note: Thank you, Susan, for your donation toward panda enrichment.

  84. Mary in Brooklyn says:

    Somehow, I missed congratulating Yvette on a fascinating and informative post. Never realized how much time and thought goes into the enrichment materials, but reading about it makes sense. Will look at enrichment with wiser eyes while laughing my head off watching the bears interact with it. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

  85. Danielle, NY says:

    As I was checking for news about the newborn cub from the Vienna Zoo, I came across news that his grandmother Tang Tang, also known as Yau Yau or #21, died on August 22, she was about 23 years old. She was captured in 1994, and the estimation is that she was born in 1987. While in captivity she gave birth to 9 cubs, 7 of them survived. She is the grandmother of many cubs, several well know to this blog. Fu Long’s father, Long Hui is Tang Tang’s son. Tang Tang died the day before Yang Yang gave birth to her newborn cub, fathered by Long Hui. Another famous Tang Tang’s grandcub is Lin Ping, Lin Ping’s mother, Lin Hui, is Tang Tang’s daughter. Wu Jun and Wu Jie, Fu Long’s cousins and room mates at Bi Feng Xia are also Tang Tang’s grandcubs through their mother Ye Ye. Tang Tang recently became a great-grandmother when Ge Ge gave birth to a healthy female cub weighing 159 grams, on August 9; it took Ge Ge 6 hours to give birth, it is her first cub. Ge Ge’s mother is Gong Zhu, Tang Tang’s first surviving cub born in captivity.

    Tang Tang is also famous for her unusual and funny ears. Even tough the articles are in German, they are plenty of pictures and you can always use Google for translation if needed.



  86. Danielle, NY says:

    As I read that Fu Long has inherited his grandma Tang Tang’s ears, I looked for recent pictures of Fu Long, and found some from his recent 3rd birthday on August 23. Sorry, it is also in German… But the pictures are universal…

    You can see him with his birthday cake on: www(dot)pandaworld(dot)de/pwp/?p=1726

    The lovely ears that he got from his grandma are best seen on the first picture on this website: www(dot)pandaworld(dot)de/pwp/?p=1778

  87. Frances in NYC says:

    As Danielle pointed out that Fu Long inherited Granny Tang Tang’s ears, I always think that Hua Mei inherited Shi Shi’s ears. I wonder if Gao Gao’s grandcubbies will inherit his webbed toes, or if even one of them will have his extra fluffy feet? It will certainly give us something to watch for when the girls become mommies.

  88. Danielle, NY says:

    #80 Frances in NYC – I wrote about it in entry #28 in the blog:


    It is about Nigel Marven working on a 5 part series about giant pandas, you can find the link to the story in that post. I had asked if it was going to be shown in the UK only or if there was any hope of it being shown in the US as well, but I don’t believe I got an answer to that question. If someone is aware of a way for us in the US to see that series, please let us know.

  89. cindy in kc says:

    12:00 pdt– I see Kalluk ‘sunning’ by the waterfall and I believe it is Chinook out there too-

    she not only keeps going to the cage doors just looking for them to open just for her, but she is VERY ROUND and FULL looking or she is carrying a lot of ‘winter weight’- not water. 🙂

  90. Fonsia says:

    Danielle #85, thanks for those links. The German text literally says that she went over “the Rainbow Bridge” and there’s a link to the poem in German.

    I didn’t know that other countries used that image.

    There certainly is no doubt where Fu Long got those ears!

    The text about Fu Long’s birthday says that the Austrian fans sent Fu Long two large banners to celebrate, and he was given lots of bamboo, pandacake and apples. “He is very happy.”

    (I’m far from fluent in German, but I know enough to make out what the texts are saying. Ruth from Austria would do far better, of course.)

    Also, the new cub appears to be doing very well in Vienna. It’s very loud, is drinking lots of milk and is getting a bit stronger every day. Yang Yang left the den for the first time yesterday to get a drink of water. It’s been very hot in Vienna. The keepers are watching the den through three monitors, through “long days and short nights.” Everybody’s exited and happy.

  91. Annie Panda says:

    Moderator: How much more money do we need for the Crane Rental and how much have we made?

    Moderator’s note: I’ll have to check on Monday, but it looks like we’re halfway there.

  92. Joan says:

    Hi all

    I have just donated to help purchase the crane rental to help out our pandas. I have sent a donation for the Red Panda support. Now, If I could have done the same for the snow for the polar bears, I would have.

    Maybe SDZ will consider segmenting the $2,900 priced into smaller increments? ($10 seems to be popular) I think we could pick away at that fund for a month or two, and get the full cost of that looked after also!

    Any more takers? I know we are a very generous group of people who love our animals and know that special feeling we get when we can help them out!!

    Moderator’s note: Thank you for helping our pandas, Joan!

  93. pandafan-north says:

    #85, #86 Danielle, NY – thanks for the links and the information about Fu Long and his grandma Tang Tang. When I went to the first link, I noticed that on the upper right of the screen, there are several flag icons and if one clicks on the UK flag, the English translation is displayed. I was also able to read the news of the new cub in Vienna in English – very helpful. Great to have news about Fu Long. Thanks again.

  94. Anne in NYC says:

    Thanks Weegee, for the latest on Miss Ping. Wow! First salsa dancing and now the waltz. She’s defintely headed for Dancing with the Stars. But, who should be her partner?

  95. Lucilla says:


  96. JoGGer says:

    Ever tried giving the polar bears anything with wheels to play with ?? Im think polar bear sized skateboards here 😀

  97. Lucilla says:

    ‘Hey, Yunnie, are you ready?’ yells Zhen Zhen as she is zipping up Su Lin into her 60s mini. She is dressed as a rocker chick in plether.

    ‘Looking good, cuz!’ shouts out Fu Long and Lin Ping gives a wolf whistle as Yunnie appears dressed as a surfer dude. He even has a shiny earring.

    ‘Is that for real?’ asks Fu Long at the earring, ‘Your Mama might not appreciate that!’

    ‘What she does not know, aint gonna hurt her, man, Chill!’ says Yunnie.

    ‘Gao Yun Zi! What is that I hear?’ shout his Mama from the sofa where she is catching up with Hua Mei who is showing off photos of her cubbies to her Mama and Aunties Mei Xiang, Lun Lun and Lin Hui. Her cubbies are too young to travel.

    ‘Nothing, Mama, I said that I know you are looking hot and that…errr…WOWIE, you are so sharp looking it hurts…’mutters Yunnie as Fu Long, Xi Lan and Tai Shan crack up.

    ‘That’s my boy! He does try hard,’ exclaims the Gaoster as he high sixes his son.

    ‘Guys, can you help me set up? asks Gao Gao and the young Panda men go to prepare the stage for Gao Gao’s talk ‘How to get Hoomans to feed You snackies and Adopt You; My Life Story’ which is the key note address at the Black and White Overnight event. Also on the agenda is a session where Pandas from all over will make enrightment toys and teaching materials to educate hoomans on how to live together with Pandas. Funi and Wang Wang will also be sharing on how to communicate cross culturally with hoomans.

    Many of the Pandas who have arrived earlier were unpacking in their cabins and trying out the hooman beds. Part of the objectives of the B&W Overnight is to teach Pandas what hoomans are like so that they can learn how to cooperate and save the earth.

    ‘I am looking forward to the movie BEARATAR where a Panda has to become a hooman to teach hoomans how to save the earth, ‘ exclaims Zhen Zhen as she checks the schedule.

    ‘I want some boo chips and boo corn as there is short feature on ‘Hoomans; a life cycle’ by Sir Bearvid Pandaborough. Hoomans don’t have fur, how do they stay warm?’ wonders Su Lin.

    ‘I heard that without those casings on their feetsies, there are no claws. How do they climb trees? Poor things!’ shared Lin Ping joining her older cousins. She looked flushed as she was teaching them how to hoola. She can twist and shake with 5 hoops, a real mover and shaker.

    As night fell, the Pandas gathered round the warm fire and had a special reunion meal as the B&W Overnight takes place over the Panda New Year and on the New Year’s Eve, they have the customary family reunion meal. And at the meal, the elders teach the young ones the stories of the Ancient Ones and how the Panda Kingdom was once one of the strongest in old China. The young ones will then receive blessings and special boo from the elders as is the Panda custom.

    Almost no Panda will sleep tonight for it is a night to celebrate and a night to remember and recall. The B&W Overnight is the only opportunity for them to come together and almost no Panda will stay ways if he or she can help it. Later that night, Lin Hui treated all to a specially prepared supper from some Thai recipes and the Panda Grrls led them in a all night dance session with Xi Lan DJing, alternating with Tai Shan. Yunnie tried to break dance and ended up in a heap on the floor.

    ‘PANDAS and HOOMANS UNITE!’ smile all the Pandas as Yunnie manages to capture all of them in a family photo!


  98. joan said says:

    it is 1:50 sunday p.m. eds. no cam, no recent blogs.

    what’s happening?

    is this the moving day?



    painted post sunday aug. 29

  99. Dianne in Texas says:

    It is Sunday, at 11:35 a.m. SDZ time. I have blue screen panda cam. All other cams are up. For all of us who may be a little paranoid about Su and Zhen leaving, this is making me even more paranoid. Anyone else get blue screen today?

    Danielle, NY: thanks for the links. I get panda news, so I knew about Tang Tang’s death. She looked like the sweetest of sweet grandmother bear.

    Moderator’s note: It looks like Panda Cam is working again now. All pandas present and accounted for.

  100. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Thanks for the post Yvette!! After having to try to come up with an enrichment idea for one of the B&W activities, I applaude the people who come up with the new toys for the animals… It is not an easy task!!! And so many criterias have to be met… Wow!! 🙂

  101. Kathy in CT says:

    Oh, zany Zhen! I am not sure China is ready for you, darling. Those fabulous recent videos- it could land you a return ticket pretty quickly! And sweetie Su Lin- the photos go way beyond a tissue. WOW!

  102. Frances in NYC says:

    Kathy #101–well if they were to send her back, I’m sure we’d take her! (Maybe that was why she was trying to fit herself into the crate the other day.)

    But when they see those videos, I suspect they’ll enlist her to help coach and choreograph routines for their advanced gymnasts, ’cause nobody does it like Zhennie.

  103. pandanuts says:

    hope Gao Gao and Bai Yun can stay SAZ all their life, please do not return them, life would be miserable for old pandas here.

  104. Lucilla says:

    Dear Dianna in Texas,

    Has same feeling but also wondered if Pandas were up to some serious partying of their own so they blued the screen. Hmmm….

  105. Laura says:

    Great story, Lucilla – as always!

  106. pandafan-north says:

    Hello panda lovers! I just want to remind you that the Panda Prince Xi Lan of Atlanta turns two on August 30th. Wow, what a journey he’s had since those challenging few days after he was born. Here is a great celebration of his first two years.


    Enjoy, and send him happy thoughts today!

  107. GRAMMMIE says:

    I was writing some nice things to everyone—-but due to “brain fade” managed to wipe out what I had written. I am not sure I can write it all again. Some funny things just cannot be rewritten…….so everybody laugh for a few minutes and we will be all covered—Okay???

    It is a busy time of year for welcome births, Birthday Celebrations, (we are lucky the Hallmark co. doesn’t know about us-for our wallet’s sake) and even a time for warm hearted farewells of many kinds. Let us add our thanks to the Panda community for their heartfelt “goodbyes”, and for letting us be a small part of their community too. Training us “HOOMANs” to respect all wildlife often starts with the most endangered-because that touches our hearts the most……the saving of a species starts in the heart—-the head tags along as an afterthought-but it is through our heads tha something finally gets done. It does not hurt that they look the way they do, and almost as if they are smiling at us—-I don’t know aout you but I blow kisses at my computer screen every day. So now the question to answer: A) Grammmie is crazy about ..B) Grammmie is crazy. I will check the results at 2 p. m. on Tuesday to find out if Grammmie needs a Panda to cuddle, a cute keper in an asylumn or????….Love Grammmie

  108. GRAMMMIE says:

    NOW IS THE TIME WE need to know if if the Pandas liked the tents and blankets, do the younger ones think they are a new more comforable type hammock. Have they figured out that the furry things for Hooman feetsies are to keep them warm, not to help them climb??? Do they think we are silly??? There are just a few more questions. Is Grammmie a nut, or a lot of fun. Does Grammmie need a panda to hug, or her own cute keeper to take care of her??? Is Grammmie headed for that Big PANDA home in the sky??? I will count on all respondese up to 2 p. m. Wednesday and let you know. I picked that date to cover some of the latest Wednessday’s comments…but there is no guarantee that each vote will be countted but I will do my best. Now sleep local pandaholics so the Pandas can get up to play and entertain you…..Love Grammmie

  109. barbara says:

    the wish list says there is nothing more available in this store. is this a mistake or did we make it for all the items.I want to match Annie Pandas donation of $30.00,

  110. Mary in Brooklyn says:

    I apologize for misleading you about snow for the polar bears (although I’m sure they’d love it). I think it was either black or brown bears on the list. Just checked the list and it read that there was nothing available — assume the September list is getting ready for posting.

  111. Ruth from Austria says:

    Yvette, thank you for this interesting article. There seems to be a long chain of people and activities (parallel thinking) involved before an enrichment item does get approved, which I found very sensible.

    #85, 86 Danielle and # 90 Fonsia, you are really “on the ball” concerning Schoenbrunn, congrats. Thanks for keeping us all informed. I was also not aware of the fact, despite being a German national, that “The Rainbow Bridge” – a term which I find very soothing – has been adopted in German. But sometimes English terms get tranlated word by word, so that must be the reason. Yes, Fu Long has inherited Yau Yau’s and Long Hui’s ears, very cute. Now and then I get informed by Schoenbrunn’s newsletter which I have subscribed to how our baby panda is doing. The lastest news is: He/she is developing fast, has got a healthy appetite and lies and sleeps comfortably between Yang Yang’s paws. Yang Yang seems to be much more experienced with her second baby than she was with FU Long. She is a very relaxed mother according to her keeper. As you know there was a second baby which unfortunately died. The body was nowhere to be traced on the monitor anymore so if appears that Yang Yang consumed it in order to prevent any germs spreading into the den. I know that other mammals such as e.g. cats behave like this but was not aware of pandas doing the same thing. Moderator, would you be so kind as to find out if this is a normal behaviour. I could imagine that in the wild it is a natural thing. Thanks.

    Unfortunately Schoenbrunn hasn’t got a web cam for their animals which is a pity. However, visitors are able to watch the baby panda on a monitor installed at the panda cage. As it will take months to view the baby “in person” Tuluba the new elephant baby will have time to enjoy the visitors’ hype. But then….. watch out, Tuluba, competition in the form of a panda if just around the corner!

    #97 Lucilla, your stories are just too gorgeous!

    I shall keep you all posted re: Schoenbrunn’s baby panda.

  112. Dianna - Ohio says:

    Hi Weegee… LP certainly likes to dance! How much is she weighing now? I haven’t been able to get onto the website for LP HiLights…

  113. Moderator says:

    #109 barbara and #110 Mary in Brooklyn

    I’ll see what’s going on with our Wish List page.

  114. barbara says:

    the wish list is now working and I matched Annie Pandas $30.00 donation. So PLEASE panda people let’s get it done.

    Moderator’s note: Thank you, barbara! Yes, our Wish List has been corrected and we need just over 100 $10 increments to reach our goal of renting a crane to place large climbing structures in the panda exhibits.

  115. barbara says:

    The wish list says error cannot give receipt for previous transaction

    Moderator’s note: I’ll notify the Wish List Team.

  116. Lucilla says:

    Dear Friends,

    I read short article that said a month long job as a Panda Keeper was offered as part of a context. And worldwide there were 17,000 entrants. WOWIE.

  117. Dianna - Ohio says:

    Annie Panda inspired me… I matched her donation plus some…

    I think SDZ should have Ty come do an extreme makeover with this crane rental… Imagine Bai, Gao, etc standing on the other side of the bus and all the Nannykeepers, our Moderator, and Kay yelling “Move that bus” and the Gao family start laughing and crying at their rennovated exhibits… Sounds like a Lucilla story 🙂

    Moderator’s note: That would be quite a sight! Thanks for your contribution, Dianna.

  118. Wish List Team says:

    The Wish List team would like to thank everyone so very much for all of your suggestions. We are all so thrilled that the crane is more than half way funded! As this is something fairly new we are trying, we would like to have the crane fully funded before we can move onto the snow for brown bears. Thank you again for everyone’s support; we couldn’t do it without you!

  119. Panda Team says:

    #111 Ruth from Austria
    Yes, it happens. Pandas also consume the placenta after birth and will clean any debris from the birth to keep the den clean.

  120. Marie says:

    # 82 weegee says: The video of LP waltzing with Tor is SO ADORABLE! I believe she was a human in a past life because she loves being on 2 legs. Thanks for sharing that.

    Fu Long has FANTASTIC panda ears!

    YAY for almost reaching our goal for the crane rental! 🙂

  121. Paula in Atlanta says:

    Happy Birthday, Xi Lan. You are such a sweet Panda bear and a treasure to us all. Currently on the ZA Panda Cam it looks as if they are getting ready to give him his panda cake and present of goodies. The hammock is down. They must have removed it in hopes Lun Lun is pregnant and will soon present a new brother or sister – or both would be great – to the X man.

    Big celebration for all the Atlanta pandas on September 18. Hope all the other pandas in the world can visit for the big celebration, too.

  122. weegee says:

    Anne, NYC , Dianna, Ohio and everyone;

    Lin Ping is 50.8kg (111.9lbs) weighed on Saturday morning. She is half of Lin Hui’s size already. Perhaps you get confused when they are together; the one with a dimple on forehead is LP, and LH is the one with a tinted blush on her cheeks.

    LP’s doing very well in her training class. Sometimes it seemed to me that she understood every words the keeper said to her. Dr. Goy answered the question why the CMZ panda keeper had to keep close contact with LP. It’s because LP’s a female panda, the closer of the distance, the more convenient of the vet to do the job especially when the time of giving birth.

    Back to the topic of the enrichments, well..I had never thought the processes were so complicated. I wonder if CMZ panda team had to go through the same thing before they invented those enrichments for pandas.

    And before I go to bed….HAPPY BIRTHDAY XI LAN….Love Ya xxoo …. 🙂

  123. Tabby mom says:

    I’m a long-time lurker from Missouri. I finally decloaked to donate $20 to the crane fund, then had to donate $5 to the lovely red pandas.

    Moderator’s note: Many thanks, Tabby mom!

  124. Susan (UK) says:

    Happy Birthday Xi Lan. Enjoy your presents.

  125. Susan (UK) says:

    Frances #80, thanks for the info on Panda Week over here, I know I would have missed it otherwise. First one really good and looking forward to the rest.

  126. Diana S. says:

    Happy 2nd Birthday Xi Lan!!!!

    I just added my donations for the crane rental for Su Lin and Zhen Zhen. They just know that their baby brother will love climbing as much as they do!! I hope the Wish List entry will carry over into September if we don’t have it all by the end of August.

    Thank you for this post, Yvette. It was very interesting. Who knew so much went into enrichment planning?!

    Moderator’s note: Thank you for your donation, Diana S. We will keep the entry open until the funds are, we hope, raised. Thanks to you, we are one step closer!

  127. Kathy in CT says:

    I would love to see the crane in action on the cam. Contributing to a crane rental is a very unique and “uplifting” experience- which I hope others will also find fulfilling! 🙂 My donation is a done deal.
    #102 Frances- I suspect the Summer Olympic Committee has already previewed the videos- and are finalizing how they can best determine the upcoming gymnastics qualifying point system based on Zhennie’s “To and Fro, Watch Out Below!” show.

    Moderator’s note: What a great idea for the crane rental; I’ll pass it along! And thank you for your donation, Kathy.

  128. GRAMMMIE says:

    # 69 Janan Huntsberry They have allowed him to sleep indoors or out—-his choice most of the time……..and he chooses outside most of the time. I thought that at first he would follow whatever momma did—-but once he got his fluffy little butt in that hammock he was sold. Some night when you are awake late, bored and cannot sleep, or up very early see if they are around. Sometimes the night cam does not switch over and you get nothing but blackness……that is less often than pretty good black and white. With a little practice you can watch the kids play–sometimes for an hour or two, or you might locate a Fluffy-Butt in the Hammock…….with a Butt on the Stone Throne. You miss a lot if you never see them at night.

  129. GRAMMMIE says:

    #104 LUCILLA Don’t count your cubbies before mama and papa say “HELLO”. It is next spring we are looking forward to….another conception with the birthday in the summer.

    I just love the Black and White Overnight from the Pandas pipoint of view—but please do not break our Yunior….Love Grammmie-

  130. barbara says:

    can you update the total on the wish list,it’s been at 117 for a couple of days we would like to know how much more we need

    Moderator’s note: It showed 72 increments to go this morning. We’re getting there!

  131. barbara says:

    Okay folks we’re getting close. I’m going for another donation. The panda cheerleaders are going into action, just look at the anticipation on their faces. they know that their hoomans will come through for them. Zhennie Su Lin and Xi Lan look so cute in their outfits. Go Hoomans Go. Thanks for updating the ammount that we need. every bit helps. Hooray for our hoomans.

    Moderator’s note: Every little bit does indeed help. Thank you, barbara!

  132. Panda Team says:

    #67 Shirley

    He is still nursing, perhaps once a day now, so you may or may not see this. At this point he is supplementing his diet with bamboo but is not totally dependent on it yet.

  133. cindy in kc says:

    does that log up by the stash pipe ever get moved, and what is in the ‘stash’ pipe?

    why are there panda blogs on the bears blog site?

    Moderator’s note: The polar bears place toys and other items in the stash pipe and retrieve them at a later date.
    Pandas are bears.

  134. cindy in kc says:

    silly me-133- I meant to say why are panda blogs on the polie’s blog? 🙂

    Moderator’s note: This particular post is about enrichment, not about pandas, although pandas are mentioned. Polar bears enjoy a variety of enrichment items, too! This post can also be found in our Apes & Monkeys and Elephants categories.

  135. Yvette Kemp says:

    #60 Mary in Brooklyn

    I know there have been studies of music and the effects they have on animals, but I would have to look up exactly what instruments and the results.

    Keepers at the Zoo and Park do tend to play music for a lot of their animals, be it a radio station, recordings of animal sounds (birds, siamangs, etc), or the tv with a program or movie.

  136. Heather says:

    I hope Bai Yun is going to have a big party on the 7th September.

    A nice big birthday cake and some new toys 🙂

  137. cindy in kc says:

    what kind of new toys could the polie’s use?

  138. cindy in kc says:

    what a fantastic super duper close up of Kalluk sleeping by the front gate in the sand tonight! He is a very heavy breather when sleeping! 🙂

  139. cindy in kc says:

    whoa! cam is out of focus and maybe major water drops or something else on the lens?

    cant see any thing clearly but a ‘fuzzy’ looking someone is swimming? 🙁

  140. Donna says:

    Could someone please clean the cam’s lens as it’s not clear to view the polar bears

    Moderator’s note: We’re attempting to resolve the problem.

  141. Marie says:

    Do the polar bears at the SDZ hibernate for the winter? Also, are they on loan like the pandas? Thanks!

    Moderator’s note: When the temperature outside drops, many bears stay warm by making a den and sleeping. Polar bears do not hibernate, but their body functions do slow down at this time. Many scientists call this “winter sleep,” because the bears can easily be awakened. Our bears do not need to do this, although they do slow down a bit in the winter. They are not on loan.

  142. cindy in kc says:

    good as new! thanks….

    shhhhhhhhhhhhh– sleeping bear by the waterfall…:)

  143. anna says:

    when are the polar cams going to on line again – i miss watching those big *white* bears…

    Moderator’s note: The Polar Cam is working–I can see a bear in the water right now (1:56 p.m.)

  144. anna says:

    re: polar cam – i see “video unavailable” – *sad* -must be this computer telling me to not look at polar bears at work – but i can see the pandas…

    Moderator’s note: Yes, sometimes our HD Cams cannot be viewed on networked computers, such as those at work. Our Panda Cam uses a different system.

  145. Polar Bear Team says:

    #137 cindy in kc

    They NEVER tire of the plastic balls in the colors of the rainbow!

  146. JoGGer says:

    I still think the polar bears should have ‘wheeled’ items

  147. Lynne Elliiott says:

    I watch the elephants on your cameras here in Australia. I take so much pleasure from watching them in the early morning(Aust time). They are taken care of so well and have a great compound.
    Please give my best wishes to all the keepers at the zoo.
    Best wishes
    Lynne Elliott
    Katoomba, Blue Mountains

    Moderator’s note: Will do, Lynne!