The 18-month mark is right around the corner for giant panda Yun Zi, and so far he is adjusting perfectly to not always being around Mom. Since they’ve been given access to both exhibit spaces in front, Yun Zi has spent most of his time in one enclosure while Bai Yun is enjoying the space in the other.
For a couple of days now the doors have been shut from the time of morning feeding to the mid-day feeding. The two bears have been doing extremely well on their own. Bai Yun doesn’t look for her cub; instead, she enjoys the time to herself and eats well, knowing that she doesn’t have to share. Yun Zi is doing well also; most of his time is spent sleeping and exploring the new-to-him exhibit. He enjoys the climbing structure there and has shown how calm and mellow he can be.
One of the days that they were re-united, Bai Yun pushed Yun Zi out of the way so that she could get to the biscuits hidden on “his” side of the viewing area. The cub isn’t showing any effort to nurse during the day, and he’s been getting smarter at stealing Mom’s bamboo. Bai Yun is doing her best to keep him away as she eats, but the two do go back and forth between the two enclosures, picking at the bamboo left there by the other.
They are doing so well through this transition, and we will be moving at the bears’ comfort level. We will do our best to keep everyone updated.
Anastasia Horning is a panda narrator at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Our Growing Panda Boy.