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Thread subject: Who's your (panda) daddy?
Name Date Message
Melanie 09/05/13 09:26 pm Two weeks after the birth, it has been determined we have a little girl panda at the National Zoo and her daddy is our own Tian Tian. (they inseminated from two different males).
FOB Webmaster 09/06/13 09:18 am I'm glad the dad turned out to be Tian Tian. Gao Gao in San Diego is a great breeder, but it's nice to know we kept this little girl's DNA in the Washington family. :-)

By the way, if anyone hasn't seen it, the zoo's Panda Cam Flickr page is really interesting. Great photos from their HD cameras.
Shelley 09/07/13 06:51 am So sweet. I hope I am wrong but the enclosure where the mama panda is looks incredibly small and narrow for such a large creature. She looks positively cramped between those 2 walls. I like the looks of the outdoor space better but even indoors, shouldn't she have more space to move, stretch, turn around, etc.? Especially once the baby begins to grow
FOB Webmaster 09/07/13 02:21 pm I think she likely has access to other areas of the room at the moment, but panda mothers in the wild nest in tight tree-trunk dens, so she might feel more comfortable in that area (see the San Diego Zoo mother's den -- it's like a small hollowed out tree).

They say it can take a couple weeks before the mother starts venturing farther from the cub for drinking and eating, and after a few weeks she might even begin moving the cub from den area to den area once the cub is less needy.
Shelley 09/07/13 02:46 pm Thanks for that info, Lisa. I hadn't realized that about pandas in the wild. I feel better now knowing that!
FOB Webmaster 09/07/13 07:11 pm I just saw this on the National Zoo site and I thought it was a good explanation regarding her den:

In the wild, bears—including giant pandas—give birth in small dens. In China's Wolong Reserve, pandas make their dens in large hollow conifer trees, with a diameter of about three feet. Where there aren’t any trees, pandas den in caves with a little bedding of twigs. They stay in these dens for about the cub’s first 100 days.

We strive to recreate these surroundings for Mei Xiang. In January of this year, in anticipation of the breeding season, we rearranged Mei Xiang’s den. We shifted the angle of the bars, so that keepers have more direct access to Mei Xiang and her cub while they are resting in the nest area. The old bars were recycled, making the renovations not only a little greener, but also a little less overwhelming for Mei Xiang. It was as if the “furniture” was simply rearranged one day.
cathy 09/10/13 10:00 pm Have you seen the sinister panda from Egyptian ads?

panda commercial

FOB Webmaster 09/12/13 10:58 am No, I hadn't seen those. Even when they're evil, they're cute. :-)

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Last modified: Sun March 7, 2010