The Panda Shuffle

It was the day everyone had been waiting for…Bai Yun and Yun Zi’s big move to the main public viewing area. How did the bears respond to the transition? The post A New World highlights the events of the morning and gives a nice account of how the bears reacted to the change. But I thought I’d take a moment to write a bit about how we manage the bears and the decision-making process involved in facilitating a shift like this.

Any time an event or situation arises concerning the pandas at the San Diego Zoo, the Zoo’s Panda Team gathers together around the big conference room table upstairs at the Giant Panda Research Station and discusses the issue at hand. You may recall from previous posts that the Panda Team consists of keepers, researchers, animal care staff, and veterinarians, and everyone’s input is essential. Most of us have worked with these animals (and each other) for many years, and so it typically doesn’t take very long for us to come to an agreement about how best to proceed.

When we’re shifting bears to a new exhibit, our primary concern is always the well-being of the animal. We must first ensure that the enclosure is a safe, suitable environment for the bears and then assess how well we think they’ll adjust to this new enclosure. Bai Yun is very familiar with this exhibit space and has raised most of her cubs here, so we expect her to take it in stride. But, is the cub ready? Yun Zi’s siblings all made the transition at about this same age, and developmentally he appears to be ready.

Another important factor we have to consider is where we will shift the other bears at the facility. If Bai Yun and Yun Zi are moving to the left exhibit (currently housing Zhen Zhen), where will we move Zhen? With the recent birth of Yun Zi, we now have five pandas here at the Research Station, more than we’ve ever had before! And along with having more bears comes minor challenges in terms of housing arrangements. We have a number of enclosures; however, it’s important that we consider the relationship and proximity of the bears to one another. For instance, will it cause Zhen stress/anxiety if she is housed adjacent to Bai Yun where she can see and smell her mother? Perhaps. So we do our best to avoid this type of potential stressor and don’t house Zhen Zhen next to Bai.

Then there are still other logistics to consider, such as research needs and meeting the interests of our guests. Because Su Lin participates in our daily hearing study sessions, she will remain in the main public viewing exhibit adjacent to Bai and Yun Zi. This exhibit is the most suitable for facilitating the hearing sessions. Gao Gao will remain in an enclosure behind the scenes for the time being until we have completed our hearing study sessions with Su Lin. Once complete, we will most likely begin a rotation with Su Lin, Zhen Zhen, and Gao Gao between the off-exhibit areas and the main public viewing exhibits. This will provide some variety for the bears as well as allow guests the opportunity to see different bears over time. We know that each panda has his/her own group of fans! So far, the bears are handling the changes very well, and we hope to complete the transition in the next few days.

So, this is just a little insight into the decision-making process that goes into a “seemingly” simple transition of a few bears into a new enclosure. There are a lot of factors to consider, and we always do our best to ensure the well-being of our bears.

Pamela Crowe is a research technician for the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research.

Watch video of Yun Zi’s first day in his new exhibit!

0 Responses to The Panda Shuffle

  1. Why would it cause Zhen Zhen stress or anxiety to smell her mama? Does she miss her?

  2. Are there any plans for Zhen to meet Yun Zi? I know that was mentioned a while back. I know they are not in position for a howdy gate meeting, but is this planned?

  3. Great little up date.Kind of like:Who’s On Third,What’s On Second and I Don’t Know Is On Third (lol) Good job girls .

  4. GREAT POST!!!!

  5. Oh, look at that shot of momma bai and mini me! So sweet!

    Thank you so much for keeping us in the loop with these procedures, Pamela. I was just saying to myself earlier, “where’s my Zhennie?” I knew it was Cam 4!


  6. I was wondering do the panda’s ever interact with one another or once they are grown they never see there mother again? Do they see the father? By the way I think Yun Zi is so cute and I think all you guys taking care of them do a great job.

    Moderator’s note: Are you asking about wild pandas or the pandas at the San Diego Zoo?

  7. Fantastic post, such a cute picture! I am always so happy when there is a new post which is mostly daily.
    Yun Zi is really the cutest panda, one day I am gonna visit him and he’ll be all grown up. I hope that Yun Zi
    will grow up as healthy and happy as possible! :-) 😉 😀 😎 😛

  8. 😛
    Yun Zi is the best
    better then the rest
    Yuniors awesome
    Yuniors great
    hes the one we APPRICIATE!!!

  9. All I can say is, you’re all doing a great job with every situation that comes across the table. We all admire your knowledge and dedication to assure these precious bears receive the very best of care. And it seems they are all thriving under your tutelage. Thank you all.

  10. can’t there be more than one Panda in a given area?? Will Yun Zi ever be able to interact with his siblings??

  11. Thanks, Pamela. We pandaholics know that everything you do is in the best interests of the pandas, but it is nice to have you explain how you try your best to avoid any issues between the most recent cub (before Yuni) and mom.

    It’s obvious from the posts of yesterday and today that the cubs are familiar with their mother’s scent. Does Bai Yun ever react to the scents of her older cubs in a way that makes you think she is reacting to her offspring rather than just reacting to another panda?

    Sorry, but the more information you give us, the more we need to know!!

  12. Really, I have nothing to say except that you ALL are the best!!!! You truly do appreciate our dedication to the bears and we appreciate always being kept in the loop…

    So, thankyou :)

  13. I guess it is not an easy task in moving around the bears. I can imagine the behind the scene tunnels and rooms. Getting the bears from one place to the next. I guess they will not take root and changes will develop them and their senses.

    Keep up the good work,


  14. That’s wonderful to hear.

    P.S. Dear moderator:
    Do you know when Su Lin will be going to China? Is the Chinese Federation going to extend her time here at the San Diego Zoo?

    Thanks for your information.

    Moderator’s note: No date for Su Lin’s move has been established.

  15. A-HA! Just caught two of the Zoo employees kitchee-cooing Yunior just before they went about tending the exhibit area. We know they do it … and now it’s on camera!!! LOLOL

  16. I know you have a lot of anxious panda fans who inquire about things every day, and I just want to applaud the patience and responsiveness you show in these blog posts. Your first priority, of course, is doing your on-site work, so the extra time you take to communicate is extraordinary.

  17. Thank you Pamela for all of this information. I know that everyone that works at the zoo and the veterinarians always have the best interest of all of the animals at the zoo. Yun Zi is especially loving his new home at the zoo. It looks like Bai Yun just takes it in stride.

  18. I’ve never been to SDZ and I really want to visit…so do my kids! If we ever do make it will we know who we are getting to see? I mean, are the names of the pandas posted outside the exhibit?

    Sometimes it makes me sad to see on Panda Cam the people walk by the pandas and not even stop. I’d stay the whole day! :)

    Moderator’s note: There is an info board at the exhibit to let guests know which pandas they are viewing. And on busy days, we do ask guests to keep the line moving so all can have a turn to see. Many guests loop around again and again–its’ great exercise 😉

  19. Thank you for all your updates. Is moving the bears from one area to another part of the enrichment process as they will be having new sights, sounds and smells?

    Moderator’s note: Moving to a different space is indeed a form of enrichment for our pandas. We do exhibit rotations with many of our animals. See posts Zoo Legend Finds New Home and Brown Bear Changes for some examples.

  20. Thanks for the posts, we love to read them.
    Like others, I wonder why all, or most, of the Panda’s can’t all be together in one huge enclosure. Is there a safety risk or jealousy issue among them? Also, since your zoo is so evolved and really provides the most natural setting and the most space for the Panda’s are you ever called upon to help educate and mentor less experienced international zoo’s and amusement parks where panda’s are kept? Wish they could all provide what you do :)

    Moderator’s note: To learn why we don’t put our pandas together, please read Pandas Play Solitaire. We do provide support and share what we’ve learned with other facilities that house pandas.

  21. Are you looking at the possibility of an expansion?

    Moderator’s note: Not at this time.

  22. Pamela, I would love to participate in such discussions! Dream job. :)

  23. I got to see the lil bugger on Valentine’s Day. Mom and he were so adorable – playing, pushing, and dragging him around the exhibit. It was the perfect thing to make my heart melt on Valentine’s Day! I wish I would have been smart enough to use my camera’s VIDEO function. I guess I was too enamored to think correctly.

  24. Sunlight gently dappling the exhibit. Leaves twirling and dancing as they sing a delicate song of old. Trees standing their silent, ancient vigil. Pandas deep in a blissful slumber. All things are right in the world at this moment…Yet another beautiful day at SDZ!

    So many wonderful new articles and pictures!! Thank you, thank you, thank you :) I’m thinking pic #5 is my favorite.

  25. Thank you for the in depth explanation of the reasoning behind the move.
    It must have been a monumental job, that was done so expertly by you all.

    I noticed the few times I saw Bai early this morning, she was staying close to Little One.
    About 5 AM, SDZoo time I think I saw her taking Yun Zi down from the tree.
    (Carrying him with her mouth.)

    Hope DoxieMom got some video this AM.


    Did you know that a Single Membership to the SDZ costs less than the 2-day ticket price??? I didn’t, but I do now and I have become a member.

    Check out the membership benefits.

    Moderator’s note: It’s the best deal in town! Here’s a link to our Membership page…

  27. Is there any chance at all that your videographer, who did such a great job filming when Yun Zi would have his weekly exams, would be able to spend a little time out in his new habitat with him? It would be so awesome to have more than just a few minutes from time to time watching the little hooligan!! Maybe a film could be made to raise more money for things that are needed? Thanks for everything that everyone at SDZ does!! Its certainly a labor of love.

    Moderator’s note: We’ll have video from yesterday posted soon.

  28. I was wondering if the pandas in the zoo interact with each other? Do they get to see there mother after they grow up and do they ever see there father?

    Moderator’s note: They do not have physical contact with each other (unless it’s breeding time, of course), although occasionally they can see each other through the howdy gate or if they are up in the trees.

  29. Great post… I was wondering how many humans make up the Panda Team? Are the vets dedicated to the pandas or they take care of all the animals at the zoo? Are the researchers people from colleges doing internships or is this their career? What is the difference between “animal care staff” and “keepers”?

    Thank you for all the information. SDZ does have the best website and offers the most information for the Pandaholics…:-)

    Moderator’s note: Our veterinarians manage the health of our entire animal collection; we do not have one vet dedicated solely to the pandas. Our researchers are professionals with college degrees and are part of the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research. The term “animal care staff” includes keepers, lead keepers, area managers and supervisors, and more. Hope this helps…

  30. Loving the daily posts about these magnificant animals. I really enjoy reading the updates and viewing the panda cam. What a wonderful job you all have. I love the pics of Bai Yun and Yun Zi they are adorable. Keep up the great work. :) Love from IA

  31. Pamela…Love the updates we are getting spoiled with all the recent updates as our quest for Panda knowledge grows along with Yun Zi…..The picture above goes along with what we nicknamed Bulldozer Bai Yun one time when we visited and she ran over Su Lin….LOL…. It was great to see Gao Gao doing his favorite thing this afternoon eating….LOL…. 😉 :-) 😉

    Any estimate on how high up in the trees yunior has been getting as we remember looking above when Su Lin and Zhen Zhen were similar in age…..We’re waiting for Lynn’s Doctors to let us know when she will finally be released so we can plan on spending a day at the SDZ when we have to visit Lynn’s main Doctor’s in SoCal…. :-) 😉 :-)

    “Panda Peace on Earth , Goodwill to All Living Things….” 😉 :-) 😉

  32. Are the cubs familiar with Bai’s scent in the sense that they know it is their mother or just that it is familiar but mostly just another panda? ZZ would mostly be stressed at seeing her mother or at seeing another grown panda so close? Obviously they’re hardwired for many things right and in the wild they would not generally be around each other but would they possibly cross paths off and on. You’ve said before that it is the girls who generally seem to leave the area rather than stay in the mother’s territory in the wild. Pandas don’t like to fight do they? They have the equipment for it but they’d much rather just have their bamboo and relax. Would the males be welcome in the female’s territory only during breeding time?

    The post is fantastic because it shows how the team works together for the welfare of the animal first and how it takes everything into consideration before doing anything that concerns the pandas. It reminds us again how proud we are of the panda team and of San Diego Zoo too.

  33. I took a quick minute to check the cam, only to find a new update. Thank you, Pamela. We all appreciate any and all updates.

    Everytime I’ve checked the cam, I can see a little figure WAAYYY up in a tree. Yun Zi is that comfy already? Of course, it might just be an optical illusion, and he’s not really that high?

  34. Paging DoxieMom again—someone mentioned Zhennie doing acrobatics in her new space and I just caught the end of what I think must have been a nursing session, or at least a really cute interaction between Bai and Yun Zi after noon today zoo time.

    Can’t wait to see the official video of Yun Zi’s debut!

  35. Thank you for another informative post about our beloved pandas!

    Here’s a video of Yun Zi in his new exhibit today, Wednesday. Once he climbs down the tree, it’s time for lunch, and a bit of pampering by the Keepers!

    2010-02-17 Yun Zi: Comfy in His New Home!

  36. Thanks for the new info…sure is great. It seems to resemble a good chess game…move this one here — move this one there. Do they get violent if they are all together i n one area? Aren’t they all together in one area in China? Cute picture!!!

    Moderator’s note: In China’s panda centers, young pandas are grouped by age; adult pandas are kept separate.

  37. I always see Gao Gao stays inside a room (his bedroom?), since he is not on exhibit, does he has access to the garden or just stay all the way inside the room? Thanks!

    Moderator’s note: He has access to a large outdoor area, much like the one Yun Zi lived in until recently, as well as a sun room and bedroom.

  38. #67 Doxiemom love the video on the last blog with da X Man and his daddy’s toy he is the cutest little fluffy butt and a great little man. The same go for our little Yunior and he fluffly spotted little tail.

  39. A few of your followers have asked if the Panda’s interact with each other and the answer was no unless it’s breeding time. Why is that? They appear to be so fun and roly poly.

    I’m sure your job is stressful but it sure sounds like fun to me. It’s just amazing how involved it is by your discription. I’m anxious to see the exhibit, the whole zoo for that matter, I hope to visit in August.

    Moderator’s note: See comment #20.

  40. Silly Yunior!! He keeps tagging along with his mom!!(I think she gets quite annoyed!)

  41. Will Sue (nice play on words, eh?), Zhenny & Gao meet Yunior?

    Moderator’s note: Not at present.

  42. Thanks for the great and frequent info on our pandas. The pic with cutie and mom is so great!!

  43. As much as I enjoy watching Bai, Susie, Zee, and Yunior, I miss seeing Mr. Gao Gao on a daily basis. He is a special widdle guy with such a sweet, endearing personality. He reminds me of a child’s much loved stuffed panda toy who has seen a bit of wear and tear but remains a treasured friend and companion. I look forward to seeing more of Gao the Great in the future.

  44. Another great video Doxiemom, Yunnie was enjoying his apples until mommy came and snatched them up! He seems to have adjusted well in his new exhibit. I loved watching Zhen Zhen I think playing today with the ball on the string. She sure is playful.

  45. Really enjoyed the video from doxiemom. She get some good shot , Thank you for the new blog, yunior seems to enjoy his new home. Also saw pictures from teiland. sorry for my spelling.
    Thank you again for the info.

  46. i am wondering how Yun Zi loved how he smelled different senses and saw new things =)

  47. YZ: Hey, Fellow Panda Cubs, guess what?

    LP: Sawadee-ka, did you get many happy red packets?

    YZ: No, better. I got moved to the exhi-hi- whatever area so that the hooomans can see us. And there are lots of trees and I got to climb one and I stayed up the tree for a loong time. Even my MOmmie could not find me.

    XL: Cool! Cowabunga. But let me tell you something, the Mommies…

    LP:…they always know where you are…

    XL: Its like they have this extra Panda Mommie sense….

    LP: And my Mommie seems to know just when I am planning a jail break…

    XL: Yeah, you used to squeeze out between the bars of your sleeping den….

    LP: But now I am a little bigger, I cant. BTW, Yun Di Di, you better be careful you dont fall from tree otherwise the hoomans will cry and give your sharpies to make you safe….

    XL: And the Mommie Monster will never let you forget how much you worried her and how much she loves you and that if you dont behave, she will tell Daddy…

    YZ: My Daddy is small and goofy. I dont think he will scold me. Bai Mommie is more likely to hug me to death.

    XL: Beware the BUM! My Mommie uses her bum to squish me. But I scent anointed her head. *Giggle*.

    LP: Oh nooo, in Thailand that is a no no. Cannot touch the head. The hoomans here put me in a red dress for the Chinese New Year and I got to go out to play with the hoomans. I chased them round and round. *Giggle*

    YZ: Here is SD, the hooomans chase me round and round. *Giggle* Hey X Man, you were right, the hooman are nice and they always tickle or scratch my back. I love having my back scratched. Thanks for teaching me how to get them to scratch me more. You the man.

    XL: I am the Son of Yang, eh? Gotta go, the Mommie Milk Bar is opening for business.

    LP: Panda Cubs Unite!

    XL & YZ: Panda Cubs Unite!

    LP, XL & YZ: We wanna wish all the lovely hoomans out there a Blessed Chinese New Year of the Tiger! May each endeavour be smooth, may each step bring you to a better position! Gong Xi Gong Xi! *PANDA WAVE*

  48. #35 DoxieMom – Thanks very much for your video. Too bad for Yun Zi, the keepers let Bai Yun back in the enclosure too soon, Yun Zi didn’t have time to eat his slice of apple. And as we all know, all food is Bai Yun’s food!!

  49. I love the inquisitive nature of the forum posters – the questions definitely provide great topics for the panda team to address and for discussion among the forum visitors. The dedication of the panda team to the well-being of the pandas, as well as their willingness to educate us is amazing and I applaud you all!

    I have noticed, though, a number of repetitive questions posted. Your patience (and gentle humor) in answering all questions is wonderful and very much appreciated. Have you thought of creating a FAQ area to provide short answers and/or links to relevant articles? Just a thought. Keep up the great work!

    P.S. DoxieMom and PWong – I love your contributions…they are awesome!

    Moderator’s note: That’s a great idea!

  50. Awwww what a cutie! I just watched your video DoxieMom and didn’t he look so grown up when he got what looked like a slice of apple and sat back with it just like a ‘big’ panda, mouthing it and obviously really pleased with it. Until Bai just happened to come along and found his little picnic. I felt sorry for him afterwards because he seemed to be looking for his apple. Still, I suppose it won’t be long before he learns to keep away from Mum when he’s got his own little treat!

  51. #6 Wendy – I read that Bai Yun reacted to her mother’s scent years after she was weaned. That told staff at Wolong that a cub can still remember, and react to their mother’s scent. I also remember reading that Su Lin reacted to Bai’s scent, and sound, many months after she was weaned. It is interesting to note that the mothers in both cases did not react to the cubs in the same way the cubs reacted to them. Bai’s mother was not physically present, Bai cam upon her scent in an area her mother had recently left. Su Lin caught sight of Bai and made a sound toward her of excitement, but Bai did not react with excitement. She was not so happy to be near Su Lin. Hence the consideration that the Panda staff gives to who goes where when. They don’t want to chance a similar situation in the future.

    I also remember reading that when Su Lin was weaned, and shortly thereafter, a couple of days space was put into the rotation so that the strong scent of an adult male would not overcome the newly weaned young adolescent cub Su Lin. She had not previously been exposed to the scent of an adult male except when she was still with her mother and had the safety and knowledge of her protection. Mei Sheng and Su Lin were in adjacent exhibits for a couple of years without any problems. He was an adolescent bear, and not as intimidating as an adult male could be.

    It will be interesting to watch Zhen Zhen as she explores and enjoys the background, and how she reacts to the solitude of not being constantly in public view. Gao Gao thrives on this, and hopefully she will enjoy it too.

  52. Thanks DoxieMom. I haven’t caught Yunior lately and a very long time since I saw him nurse. You captured alot.

  53. I have become obsessed with the pandas at SDZ since I started watching the Panda Cam after Yun Zi’s birth. I search the website everyday for updated blogs or videos of the Pandas! The staff does an excellent job of explaining what is happening as well as educating the public on panda bears in general. I will be visiting San Diego and next month and wondered if there is a time limit on viewing Bai Yun & Yun Zi.

    Due to their popularity and viewing times, is the public limited on how long they can stand and watch mom & cub?

    Thank you for all you do for the pandas and those of us that have become pandaholics!!

    Moderator’s note: See comment #18.

  54. At the SD Zoo… it appears they keep all the Pandas separated from each other, while in China, you see the Pandas all together. Why does SD Zoo keep the bears separated?

    Moderator’s note: See comment #20.

  55. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort the staff puts in to keep us pandaholics informed. Realize that this is not the only job you have to do. You have truly created an international forum for us to get together, chat and learn about these beautilful animals. Thank you!

  56. Frances in NYC – previous blog #46 – Regarding Bai Yun climbing up a tree with Zhen Zhen – I found a panda cam photo of them doing just that. I believe Bai was trying to stop Zhen Zhen – who was one year old at the time – from climbing higher. You can find the photo on Flickr at the following link:

  57. Such a cute video of Bai Yun and Yunior on his first adventure into the new space. He’s just such a cutie. Thanks for sharing him with us. :)

  58. Zhen Zhen looks very confortable in her shaddy spot eating her bamboo. I guess she is a happy panda.

    Good for her.


  59. I don’t think Mr. Gao is “goofy”. I think Mr. Gao is handsome and macho. I call him Mr. Big after the gorgeous man, Chris Noth, who played Mr. Big on a show for women. I think Mr. Gao is gorgeous, too. Otherwise, I enjoyed the story. You panda fans do entertaining silly stories. Good job! I think Xi Lan needs to be nice to his mom. I am glad Yun Zi is nice to his mom. Men’s figure skating tonight! Canada, well done with the Olympics. I see how beautiful Canada is. I want visit some time.

  60. Just to let you know that PandasLiveOn just posted a great article and wonderful photos of Tai Shan taken by his new keeper while Tai is in quarantine. I’m sure they will make all of you smile…he is doing so great.
    And what a great cam view of Yunnie sleeping in a tree right now.

  61. # 43 Deb E – Ditto! He seems so endearing and I really haven’t seen much of him since I became a pandaholic last August.

    # 59 Gabrielle – I live in Montreal. Come on over, I’ll show you around! :)

  62. #59 Gabarielle, Thanks for the compliment on Canada.. truly we apprecite it :) Our doors are always open!!

    There is the MOST gorgeous closeup of Su Lin on the cam right now… 11:45 SD time… She is just gorgeous…. I am dreading the day she boards a plane. The latest update on Mei Lan is good though, she seems to be settling into a routine.. And of course Macho Panda Tai Shan is doing wonderful. Check out pandasliveon for the latest pic’s of him…

    I Bet we are going to wish Yun Zi wasn’t in the big viewing area as he does like to climb and sleep doesn’t he? What a boy!!!

  63. I am watching beautiful Su Lin as I work. By the Grace of God, maybe a male panda in the U.S. could be Su Lin’s mate. By the Grace of God, maybe China would sell a couple of Pandas, and maybe there could be a Giant Panda Refuge in the U.S. as well. I picture land to roam and to have a panda family. A perfect place to do research on pandas. I am interested to know if in wild, pandas would live as a family unit, if they could (if the food resources were plentiful).

  64. To whomever is operating the camera right now, thank you for the great closeups of Yun Zi and Su Lin.

  65. Are the pandas micro-chipped for identification? I’m sure that those of you who care for them on a daily can tell them apart and know their personalities.

  66. #35 DoxieMom — as always, I loved the video. I laughed out loud as Mama Bai took the apple/biscuit right out of Yun Zi’s mouth. Poor baby.

  67. I wonder how long from now we will be seeing Su Lin sitting in her pool splashing water all over her. It’s coming up to ‘cold shower’ time as I call her going into estrus. Last year she looked so cute and I got some good postcard shots. Pandas are so lucky that it’s only once a year rather than every 4 weeks that us humans feel that way.

  68. Thanks, Rose N. I remember Bai climbing up and kind of shaking the tree to tell Miss ZZ to move to a sturdier branch, perhaps, but it seemed like they climbed up together this time.

    Great story, Lucilla!

    Love the new video–so sweet to see Bai come up and rub noses with him and the proceed to step over him! And he still likes to slide down branches instead of climbing down them, but he and Mom seem to be enjoying the new space.

    Susan #50–I saw that too–sitting up just like a big boy with his apple slice!

  69. We’ve been spoilt for choice today. Beautiful close-ups of our gorgeous little fluffball and Su Lin. And some relaxing views of Chinook the Polar Bear doing her laps. Oh, heaven. Thank you Meerkats, you are stars.

  70. # 47 LUCILLA Great colunm from the point of view of the kiddies.
    # 48 DANIELLE All of the food may h ave Queen B’s name on it……but all of the milk is Prince Fluffy-Butt’s–and he is not sharing.
    #59 GABRIELLE I like to think of him as a Handsome Goofball. I got some lovely photos of him from the facebook page that show him in all of his glory. and is in my rotation of wallpapers that get changed a lot. A lot of photos, when blown up to fit the whole screen get very rough edges, bujt 4 of Gao Gao are very sharp even at full screen. When it is his turn to be up I tell lhim all sorts of things about his family. AAAWWWW come on—we all talk to our computer monitors—don’t we????
    THANK YOU to all contributing to the Blog, Comments, and especially the guys are the best…..Love Grammmie

  71. OMG!! What a fantastic camera shsot of baby up in the tree…nice and c lose, just PERFECT. Thanks so much!!! (time 5:15pm East coast time)

  72. The panda shuttle is right! I did read the last three updates from the keepers. Looks like Yuni is beginning to get with the program, and where momma goes, he goes! Just saw him on the pandacam a little bit ago, and he was sound asleep in the tree branches, his new favorite napping spot! I checked the cam number list, and it looks like the keepers have finally closed up the den because there were no cam numbers for the den area. Yuni has grown up some more! Apparently, he’s loving his new yard, plus he still has the other yards to go to as well. Yuni looked so cute all curled up in those tree branches! Sorry I haven’t written in a while. Been busy with appointments and other things lately. I did read Dennis Carney’s latest update, too. I’m still thinking and praying for the both of them. Love his descriptions of what he sees on the pandacams!
    National Zoo has had no new snow drop in for about 5 days now. Been checking both NZ pandacams, and Tian and Mei are just doing their usual thing. They were both licking some good sweet stuff off of milk crates today while they were indoors. Pandacam 1 is back online again for the last 3 days now. Yeah!!
    Well, gonna go for now. Will check back in later on.
    Chari Mercier :)
    St. Pete, FL

  73. Moderator, I’m wondering how ZZ and Bai are reacting to the scents of the former occupants of their new enclosures. ZZ’s scent is all over the left-hand enclosure, and Bai’s is everywhere in the classroom area. Are they marking their own scents over the older ones, or indicating any interest?

    No doubt the bears are quite used to encountering scents of other bears whenever they swap exhibits, and surely ZZ has encountered her mother’s scent before, but I wonder what the bears actually do about it?

    Thanks if you can get an answer!

  74. Do Pandas see in color or black and white……………?

  75. Why is it mother bears will fight to the death defending their cubs and yet have no problem snatching the last biscuit from the paw of their precious little one?

  76. I wish to thank The Keepers….and all of the others who made today’s sanck possible. By holding Mommy back a few minutes I got to taste everything, play with my toy, and hide a bit of snack underneath me. I thought Mommy would snarf it all gone, but she was a Lady, and it took at least 3 minutes to discover if she rolled me a bit she could get the last of the red stuff. Can we meet here later to try this again??? Love Your Prince Fluffy-Butt (Grammmie helped me send this)

  77. Ooooopppppsssss I forgot to tell tmy lovely keepers thank you for the hammock too, but I wonder how long before Mommy plants her Fluffy-Butt in it….Love Yunior

  78. curiosity here… if Bai and Yun Zi are on exhibit just in the morning, but their exhibit is next to Su Lin’s… what happens in the afternoon? I see Bai and Yun Zi are still in the front exhibit at 3:30PST, are visitors still allowed thru to see Su (and them)?


  79. He is still so fun to watch! thanks for the video and thanks Doxiemom for the other video. While I was looking at Yun Zi’s video I saw one of the baby elephant born at Wild Animal Park on Valentines day. Too cute!

  80. #51 Margaret – thanks for the answer to my question in #11 of this blog. I hadn’t realized that the ‘cubs’ still knew their mother’s scent after so long. I guess when Mom is busy with a new cub, she is not interested in her grown children any more.

    #49 Cyn – I do think that frequently the same question occurs to many of us after reading the post, but because the blog comments are moderated in a group, we wind up with lots of the repetitive questions. Your idea, though, is great. It would save some wear and tear on our generous moderators!

  81. Hi Friends,
    If this has been brought up before please forgive me since I’ve only been tuning in recently. Here is a fundraiser idea. How about making a DVD (with audio if possible) of the best of Yun Zi’s antics..including all his check up’s, the first time he went out for the media, and the fabulous other highlights you have. I’d love to buy one as I’m sure others would as well :) Thanks also for explaining why the Panda’s are kept apart. The Wolong program shows so many of their panda’s together at once, especially the youngsters and teenagers, that I just thought Yun Zi and his sisters would intermingle. Thanks for clarifying :)

  82. Yunior seems to be having an awful lot of fun playing in whatever or whereever he is right now, I can’t figure out “where” he is though?? Help?????

  83. Where is this cubby hole little cloud has been playing in for over 1/2 hour? I can’t tell, esp because these are his new digs. I got some of the cutest pics EVER watching him squirm around in there. Just plain enchanting! That little fuzzy face and all 4 legs and arms flailing about. Yep, he’s got himself a new little hiding place, by gosh.

    He’s in there now if anyone wants to catch his antics….


  84. Hey, was Yunior stuck? The camera was at 16:15 for a long time with him in what looked like an uncomfortable position! then he was out on the stump, going back to sleep. Or did Bai rescue him?

  85. # 83 KAT I am not sure if he was enjoying his “foot party” too much to stop, or if he was stuck. I watched a while, but then was called away, when I got back he was gone. Sometimes I worry, but so far he has survived everything he has done, and all the places he has gotten stuck. I am trying to remember to relax and enjoy, but it is not easy. Love Grammmie

  86. I love little Yunior! I’ll be visiting him again tomorrow. :)

    A quick question though, after 12, when Yun Zi’s viewing hours are up, do you close off the whole exhibit (Su included) or just his exhibit?
    Thank You!

    Anastasia responds: The main viewing area is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Su Lin is on exhibit the entire time, except while having her enclosure cleaned. Bai Yun and Yun Zi are given access to the bedroom all day; whether or not they are actually out is up to them, however. Right now we just don’t want to promise everyone that they are going to be able to see the baby all day; if he chooses to go inside, we are allowing that. We are working toward Bai Yun and Yun Zi being on exhibit for at least the morning for sure, and then onto all day. Yun Zi has actually been spending most of the day outside.

  87. Marie and Darlene, thank you for your very gracious invitation. All that snow is beautiful. I am in the Austin, Texas area. We do not see much snow. I would like it if my man would take me to Canada for a vacation. First, by the Grace of God, we are going to visit Yun Zi. I must see Yun Zi in person. I appreciate all the kind panda fans and kind people that work at SDZ.

  88. #65 Lucy
    Our pandas are not microchipped. You are right that we know them just by looking at them, not only by size but by the shapes of their faces, the markings around their eyes, and their personalities.

    #73 Fonsia
    Both Bai Yun and Zhen Zhen have spent time scent marking their new enclosures. Bai Yun is, of course, a pro at this and has done it many times. Zhen Zhen actually is really getting into the experience for the first time that I’ve seen. When we were bringing Zhen Zhen into the classroom exhibit she stopped right in front of the door that leads to Bai Yun’s old bedroom because she smelled a different scent; she didn’t scent mark over it in the tunnel, but she was interested. As for remembering the scent as that of her mother, there is a very good chance of that, especially since bears in the wild know different territories belonging to other bears by their scent.

    #74 maryjane
    There has been no study done on these bears to determine if they are color blind. There are several different theories and evidence to support each one. One of the most common is that pandas are color blind, which is why they rely on their sense of smell so much. But at this time we really can’t provide a definitive answer.

  89. #47-Love the humor you presented!
    Here’s a Chinese New Year story starring Gao Gao, Su Lin, Keeper Kathy, and of course, Zhen Zhen.

    Zhen Zhen-*Sigh*
    Gao Gao-What’s wrong, my daughter?
    Su Lin-Yea, sis, what’s up?
    ZZ-Baby brother Yun Zi got put into the main exhib-hibit, oh, you know what I mean. Now I can’t see momma. Baby brother’s getting all the attention.
    SL-I know what you mean, we’re not even on exhibit!
    GG-Well, what do you want in YOUR red envelope for Chinese New Year?
    ZZ-Oh, all I want is to be on exhibit so the hoomans can see us.
    GG-Well, you’re not quite a baby anymore. And the cam focuses on you all the time. More than me or Su Lin.
    ZZ-Oh, what do you know? You’re a midget!
    SL-But he’s robust! That’s what makes us so big! His robust attitude!
    Keeper-Here, Zhenny! Here, ZZ!!
    GG-I think that’s for you!
    ZZ-CARROTS! Me love carrots.
    Keeper-Here you go, Zhen. Main Exhibit.
    ZZ-Wow, my Chinese New Year Wish came true!
    The End

  90. # 89 JOSEPH Cute story—I hope all will read and appreciate it….Love Grammmie

  91. #90 Grammie-Thanks! That just came off the top of my head, Heaven knows where it came from! Last night I had the strangest dream! Your okapi Safrani was on loan to me while her habitat was renovated, and every time I rubbed her neck, she leaned on me and licked me! Strangely, it felt real! What if…

  92. Tank woo my keepers (expeshally Kaffy) for me hammock and putting me on big big exhibit.Me wonder how long until mama plant herself in it for all eternity. Love Yunior

  93. Okapis are wonderful animals on sight….did you know they have an extremely long tongues…that are blue. They can actually use their tongues to clean their own ears. My husband and I had a favorite animal—-the Okapi. On a trip to the wild animal park about 15 years ago we got to see a newborn and mother I think it was only a day or two old. I am sure if he were still alive and had a chance to get to know the pandas he would have loved them too. Lets see if somebody can weave a tale of Pandas and Okapis on the loose…the Pandas using them for transportation. I see it as a tale of magic and heroics……Love Grammmie

  94. Strange, I had just thought of a story where a panda becomes best friend with a langur (where did THAT come from?) off the top of my head. They use an okapi (namely Sakari-Adaka) to sneak around the zoo’s forested areas where they frolic.

  95. Go Joe Go…Love Grammmie

  96. #74 Maryjane,

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

  97. Me have planted me fluffy-butt in me hammock for all eternity, me beat mommy Queen B to it. Love Yunior