Director of Giant Pandas blog

October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment


We know that many of you follow our panda updates. And now after a long summer we have some time to reflect on all that we have achieved before we begin our preparations for the rapidly approaching 2014 panda breeding season.

It seems right too that we now begin a new phase of communication to our panda followers so that you can keep up to speed with everything going on in our Giant Panda Conservation and Research programme, including a regular update on Tian Tian and Yang Guang themselves.

You will find as we provide you with these updates that we will make reference to pandas behaviours and biology and what you have to always remember is that while Tian Tian and Yang Guang are living in Edinburgh Zoo, your reference point has to be how pandas behave and interact in the wild.

13_9_19_Tian_Tian_jp5So let’s start with news on Tian Tian and Yang Guang.

For over a month now the panda house had been closed to visitors as Tian Tian became increasingly noise sensitive. Now that she has returned to her normal behaviour patterns of eating, sleeping and resting after her lost pregnancy the viewing area is open once again to visitors.

Both in the wild and in zoos, female pandas become noise shy during pregnancy. This is because a pregnant female panda in the wild would be looking for a quiet, secure place to have her cub, a place free from disturbance and a place which gives a degree of protection and security, from potential predators, for her and her cub, while intensively nursing the cub through the first couple of weeks of its life.

Yang Guang as you may have read in the press, is still recovering from a metabolic problem which he has had, however he is doing well and our vets and keepers are giving him all the attention and care he needs (and seems to enjoy) and slowly, as this isn’t something that you treat quickly, he is returning to his normal self.

TT_Hammock_1_kp_21.10While the pandas have been off show we have taken the opportunity to freshen up their on-show dens with a new coat of paint, and we have put in hammocks for both pandas. We are looking forward to seeing how both of them react to these.

Lastly in this update let’s talk about training. Both pandas are being trained by the keepers for various behaviours, which will help us with their medical management and veterinary care. Tian Tian, especially, at this stage, is showing that she is quick on the uptake is responding well to her training programme. We hope to post a video of Tian Tian learning some of these behaviours very soon.

We look forward to keeping you updated and of course we hope you will visit the panda house again soon.


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