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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Westend old bird wrote:
Love that you keep everyone updated on Bao Bao. Thank you

You're welcome. The National Zoo does not post as much a Zoo Atlanta. Right now little Bao is napping while her cousins are rolling around being pretty mischievous. Well, one of them just settled down and is nursing while Mom is napping - or trying to. That was short lived. The nursing panda evidently got just enough to get him going again and pounced on his mom.

wish I had movie software. Going on line to see what I can find...
Until then...

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Healthy, Happy and Heavy Cubs!

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The twins are growing so fast. Mei Lun is now 6.68 kilograms (14.73 pounds) and Mei Huan is right behind him at 6.53 kilograms (14.40 pounds). Heather Roberts, Keeper III, has been keeping track of the boys and has this update for Cub Confidential:

“The cubs are becoming even more difficult to weigh than before. Unless they are asleep when we need to weigh them, all they want to do is play with or climb out of the tub we weigh them in! Sometimes we try giving them a toy to occupy them in the tub. At times this works, and at other times it doesn't. Even when the toy manages to keep them inside the weighing tub, just the act of playing with the toy causes the scale to fluctuate quite a bit. We try to wait until they are sleepy to weigh them, but they do not get sleepy as often as they used to and it can be a long wait. There are times when we have to place them in the nest box and let them play themselves out before we can get an accurate weight for them. We are still weighing both cubs at least four times per day.”

Wow! Thanks, Heather! Not only are they growing fast, but the cubs are so active. It’s such a joy to watch them on PandaCam. Jennifer Andrew, Keeper I, has this to share about our two busy boys:

“The cubs have become really comfortable in their dens, and as a result, have learned the layout really well. When Lun Lun moves them or we return them to the dens after weighing them, they always seem to know exactly where they are and exactly where they want to go. Recently, they have learned that they can't always go where they want to, though, especially if a keeper is cleaning a den. When we clean the dens, we close Lun Lun and the cubs out of the dirty den until it is clean and dry. Occasionally it is comical to watch the cubs investigate the closed shift doors. Most of the time they know what is waiting for them on the other side – a den to explore, some awesome bamboo to play with, or Lun Lun. But sometimes they seem thoroughly confused about where the doorway went, and then before they know it, the doorway is back again! “

Before we know it, the boys will be eating their first bamboo! Thanks, Jennifer.

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Panda Updates - from the website. My comment from Tuesday's is: "I didn't know that!"

Tuesday, December 10
We’re frequently asked if it’s harmful for the cubs to be in contact with Lun Lun’s feces. It’s not harmful for them; in fact, the opposite might be true. The young of some species consume their mothers’ feces to obtain the microbes needed to digest their food. This is especially common in species which eat plants and has been well documented in elephants and koalas. Giant panda cubs have not been observed consuming their mothers’ feces, but being exposed to the mothers’ feces may also help them obtain the needed microbes.
Rebecca Snyder, PhD
Curator of Mammals

Monday, December 9
The cubs' new obsession with the scale is slightly problematic overnight. We do not have an infared light in that den, so in order to see the cubs we have to leave the dimmer light on overnight. Even with the dimmer light, it can be difficult to see them in certain parts of that den, especially behind the scale. We like to disturb the other pandas and Lun Lun as little as possible overnight and prefer to leave the lights off while we are here 24 hours a day. However, now that the cubs spend most of their time playing around or sleeping behind the scale, we are using the lights more often. When Lun Lun and the cubs are asleep, we take that opportunity to turn all of the lights out. We keepers just have to be vigilant about the sounds of the cubs or Lun Lun when they wake up. We have tried to encourage the cubs to sleep in the nest box overnight by returning them there after their weight checks, but they always make a beeline for the scale as soon as they are back in the dens! Don't worry, PandaCam viewers, you are not missing too much action in the wee hours; Lun Lun and the cubs do sleep for most of the night.
Heather R.
Carnivore Keeper III

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:10 am 
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:thankyou


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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:41 pm 
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Explorer Cubs
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The cubs have been extremely interested in their surroundings. What’s this? What’s over there? Can I eat this? Jennifer Andrew, Keeper I, has this update about Mei Lun and Mei Huan:

“The cubs are at the stage where they are curious about everything. Everything in their environment gets investigated at least twice, and pretty much anything makes a great toy. The newest toy happens to be the water drinkers. Each den has a metal drinker that hangs a foot or so off the ground and provides fresh water for the pandas. The cubs have discovered these, and they've been quick to stand and try to climb into them.

When it was time to pull the cubs yesterday for their morning weights, both cubs were at the drinker. Mei Huan was soaked from the tips of his ears to just below his saddle in water and seemed to be having a great deal of fun investigating it. Mei Lun was playing in the water too, but he wasn't nearly as soaked as his brother!”

We’re glad that the cubs get to play and discover new things together. Thanks, Jennifer!

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:28 pm 
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It doesn't get much sweeter than this. Her little belly is rising and falling with each breath... Sigh. :girlluv:

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Oh boy! No girls!!!!! :holbugeye:

Officials at Zoo Atlanta have received surprising news regarding giant pandas Po, Mei Lun and Mei Huan. DNA testing has confirmed that all three bears are female.

All three giant pandas were originally sexed as male by colleagues from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, but it is not unusual for young giant pandas to be sexed incorrectly. Prior to the time they are at least 3 years old, there are no obvious external cues as to their sex.

There are no plans to change Po’s, Mei Lun’s or Mei Huan’s names, and the news that they are female will have no impact on their care or their future importance to the world’s population of captive giant pandas.

Po, 3, is the third offspring of Lun Lun and Yang Yang. Mei Lun and Mei Huan, 4 months old, are the only twin giant pandas in the U.S
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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:15 pm 
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I am always watching these 2 at Atlanta. And saying "boys will be boys" when they are rough housing. Now, I will have to say " be lady like".


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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Westend old bird wrote:
I am always watching these 2 at Atlanta. And saying "boys will be boys" when they are rough housing. Now, I will have to say " be lady like".


Lol! I was thinking the same thing!


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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:38 pm 
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Kris G. wrote:
Westend old bird wrote:
I am always watching these 2 at Atlanta. And saying "boys will be boys" when they are rough housing. Now, I will have to say " be lady like".
Lol! I was thinking the same thing!
Me too! :teehee: What a riot.

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:11 am 
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I've been gone all day, so thanks for posting the announcement...its been all over our local news...and the Chinese panda folks are just ecstatic, for obvious reasons...girls mean future moms and more panda babies!!! YEA!!!


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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Panda Updates
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Monday, December 16
Wow, the last five months have really flown by! Lun Lun has proven to be an excellent mother to her twins, and the girls are continuing to do well under her care. Because of this, yesterday was my last shift in the panda nursery. I have enjoyed every moment of watching these two cubs grow from the tiny, pink creatures they were when they were born to the cute fuzzballs they are now. It is very rewarding to see our panda family thriving after all these months of close and careful monitoring!

Yesterday was bittersweet. The change in routine means it is time for me to return to my primary area within the Mammal Department – the petting zoo. I have missed the goats, sheep and other species that I help care for each day. I am excited to return to them and get to know the few new faces that have moved into the area since July, but my time with Lun Lun and her cubs has been an experience that I will never forget! I'll be checking in on my favorite trio and look forward to watching the cubs' antics as they enter this next phase of their lives, just as I’m sure you all will!
Jennifer A.
Keeper I, Mammals

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:07 pm 
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December 16, 2013

Bao Bao had a busy day Friday! She was very active and spent the entire day in one of Mei Xiang's large indoor enclosures. That was the first time she has spent an entire day outside of the den!

Keepers also weighed Bao Bao early Friday morning. She is now up to 13.2 pounds (6.26 kilos).

As Bao Bao's teeth are starting to come in, she also occasionally bites down on bamboo. But she's still nursing and won't start to sample bamboo for another few months.

The keepers are laying the groundwork for training with Bao Bao. They reward her for moving or looking toward them when they interact with her. Right now her reward is a tiny evergreen branch or a tiny piece of bamboo to play with, but when she gets older she will get small treats for choosing to participate.

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:59 pm 
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Many thanks for all the sweet updates/photos!!

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:25 pm 
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Panda Updates

Tuesday, December 17
The twins have reached another milestone right on time. They are climbing! This is an important skill for a young giant panda to develop. Cubs in the wild often rest in trees while their mothers forage for bamboo. This is likely the safest place for a cub to be while its mother is occupied. Captive born cubs also prefer to rest above the ground when they are old enough to climb to a suitable resting spot. Soon, you can expect to see Mei Lun and Mei Hun sleeping on the climbing structure as their older siblings did.

With climbing comes falling, you may have already seen the twins fall from the climbing structure. It is normal for young pandas to fall. I know it looks like a long way down and you might think they could get hurt. But at this age, they are nearly indestructible. Bears are tough and bear cubs which are old enough to leave the den are also tough. Please don’t worry about the twins. The animal care staff keeps a close eye on them and will check them if there is anything to be concerned about. Instead enjoy the twins antics and admire their ability to pummel each other, their mother, and to fall and get right back up to do it all over again.
Rebecca Snyder, PhD
Curator of Mammals

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:54 pm 
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Voting is open for the Giant Panda Zoo Awards 2013! Mei Lun and Mei Huan have been nominated for Panda Cub of the Year. Along with the twins, our very own Heather Roberts, Keeper III, is nominated for Panda Keeper of the Year! Along with other great panda keepers, she’s up against Deng Tao, who was with us for the first four months after the cubs’ birth. Vote now and help the twins and Heather win! Voting is open until January 14, 2014. Click here to cast your vote.

This was posted by Zoo Atlanta, but you may also vote for Bao Bao, the National Zoo's little cubbie too!

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Can You Tell Mei Lun and Mei Huan Apart?

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Mei Lun and Mei Huan have definitely developed two different personalities, but they also have two different (still equally cute) fluffy faces! Heather Roberts, Keeper III, wanted to tell Cub Confidential about some of their most distinguishable features. Heather says:

“If you are lucky enough to see the cubs on exhibit, you may want a few tips on how to tell them apart. Their faces actually look quite different, and the cubs are easily distinguishable when they are right next to each other. Mei Lun has a sharper, thinner face with a long nose. Mei Huan has a very round face, and her eye patches curl up ever-so-slightly in the corners. Mei Huan's nose is still lighter than Mei Lun's. To help us tell them apart on the cameras when they are on exhibit, we have shaved a small strip of fur on Mei Lun's back across her saddle, so if you can see her back that is also another way to know which cub is which. Any or all of these features may change as the cubs grow and develop, but for now, these are the features that we use to distinguish the cubs from each other.”

Thanks, Heather! Do you think you can tell them apart?
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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:43 pm 
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National Zoo Giant Pandas: Bao Bao is Climbing!

Bao Bao is becoming a master at giant panda locomotion! She climbed up on the rockwork in Mei Xiang’s enclosure early Wednesday morning all by herself. She took a little tumble, but she was completely unhurt and Mei Xiang quickly came to her side. Undeterred by gravity, she soon was at it again and pulled herself back up on to the rockwork. Mei ended the climbing session shortly after her second successful attempt.

Wednesday keepers offered Bao Bao her first taste of juice. Since Bao Bao showed interest in the juice, they will likely use that as a reward during future training sessions with her.

Keepers have noticed that Mei Xiang may be ready to take Bao Bao outside. In the next week you may notice Mei Xiang and Bao Bao exploring different parts of the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat together – including Mei’s newly cub-proofed outdoor areas! But don’t rush to the Zoo to see the two of them quite yet. Bao Bao will not be visible to the public until January 18 (only FONZ members will be able to see her from January 11 to January 17). If Mei does choose to venture outside with Bao Bao, the panda team will close the area around the panda habitat to provide quiet for the bears. But panda cam viewers will still be able to see them on the cams.

In other panda news, the January issue of Smithsonian magazine features Bao Bao on the cover! The issue also has new stunning photos by Tim Flach of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. The story went online Wednesday. It provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into life inside the panda house, and a look at the Zoo’s giant panda research and conservation efforts in China.

Watch the videos of Bao Bao rock-climbing!

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:43 pm 
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A little rough housing with Mom! :flirty:

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:04 am 
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National Zoo 12/28 :newyear14:

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 Post subject: Re: PANDAS ~ 2011 & 2013
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:02 pm 
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Continue the Panda-emonium for 2014 here!

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