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Thread subject: Who's your (panda) daddy?
||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).
||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.
||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
||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.
||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!
||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, bearsĂ˘€”including giant pandasĂ˘€”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 arenĂ˘€™t any trees, pandas den in caves with a little bedding of twigs. They stay in these dens for about the cubĂ˘€™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 XiangĂ˘€™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 Ă˘€śfurnitureĂ˘€ť was simply rearranged one day.
||09/10/13 10:00 pm
||Have you seen the sinister panda from Egyptian ads?
||09/12/13 10:58 am
||No, I hadn't seen those. Even when they're evil, they're cute. :-)
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