The big question around here has been “Is Bai Yun pregnant?” We are all on pins and needles wondering the same question. Our breeding sessions took place on April 15 and 16, and right now it is way too early to confirm or deny a pregnancy!
The San Diego Zoo’s Panda Team is performing weekly thermal imaging scans and ultrasound procedures on her; these sessions provide real data that will allow us to understand how pregnancy unfolds in the panda from different perspectives (see post Panda: Thermal Images Revealed). Sometimes, animals need help remembering a behavior that they may have learned a long time ago. For Bai Yun, she only has to cooperate for ultrasounds every two years when she may be pregnant. These weekly thermal scans also help to get her back into the “swing of things.” Bai Yun has been trained on more behaviors than any of our other pandas, and as long as we practice them with her on a regular basis, she will retain that memory of what she is to do.
We will keep you updated on how things are progressing for Bai Yun, and, of course, please come see her at the Zoo. She is in our North Exhibit (formerly known as the Classroom Exhibit) from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
Anastasia Horning is a panda narrator and relief keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Scaly Animal Ambassadors.