Bedtime for Yun Zi

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Yun Zi is growing and growing! The first time I held him, he was 7 pounds (3 kilograms); now, he is well over 20 pounds (9 kilograms) and very strong. In the afternoons, the keepers bring Yun Zi off exhibit with Bai Yun so we can clean it for the next day’s adventures. Ideally he would be wide awake, run after Momma and go out the door, into the tunnel, and bound into the bedrooms for the evening. But little Yun Zi is an independent boy. Most afternoons, he is sound asleep under the honeysuckle bushes. As a keeper, it is my job to wake him up and get him inside with Bai Yun. It’s a tough job cuddling a baby panda!

Once Bai is safely inside eating, I enter the exhibit and start to wake up Yun Zi. I begin by calling his name and gently petting him. Typically, he barely opens his eyes, yawns, and rolls back over to sleep. So I scoop him up and put the sleepy boy in the tunnel. After all the doors are secure, I open up Bai’s bedroom door, and Yun Zi scrambles inside for the night.

In the afternoons, check out Panda Cam to see Yun Zi. Look for him on the shelf in the garden room enjoying some time with Mom.

Holly Border is a keeper at the San Diego Zoo.