Today I collected a fecal sample from Gao Gao. When I got there I was a little worried that I might have a day without a sample because the usually glutinous Gao Gao wasn’t eating! He was quite active today walking around the enclosure (what we call quasi-stereotypical pacing), scent marking, vocalizing and even swimming! There are two reasons Gao Gao might not have been eating his bamboo:
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1. He didn’t like the variety. Pandas can be quite finicky about what they eat. There are over 1,400 species of bamboo, and around 70 are grown for the pandas at the San Diego Zoo. While Bai Yun is quite particular about her food, Gao Gao usually doesn’t seem to picky. Gao Gao also loves his previsions of apples, carrots, yams and biscuits, which he also left scattered across his enclosure. Which leads to the other reason…
If you listen closely in the video, you can hear Gao Gao bleating, an appeasing, non-aggressive vocalization.