I know many of our San Diego Zoo guests have missed seeing our youngest panda, Yun Zi. Rest assured that he is doing just fine and is still here at the Zoo! Yun Zi has access to our north exhibit during the day, and in the evenings he goes into a set of bedrooms that have sunrooms in case he feels the need to get some fresh air.
Believe it or not, the bears really don’t mind being off exhibit and in the back with keepers. Yun Zi enjoys watching the keepers work, make enrichment, and prep diets for the pandas. He definitely takes after his father, Gao Gao, in the respect: Gao Gao also enjoys the quiet environment, so being in the back with keepers is a nice change for him.
Yun Zi is growing very fast and has officially surpassed his father’s weight. On average, he is anywhere from 4 to 6 pounds (2 to 3 kilograms) larger than his dad, putting him around 174 to 176 pounds (78.9 to 79.8 kilograms). Our little Yun Zi is growing so fast and is becoming a very impressive-looking bear. Through different phases of his development he has taken after his siblings, and for right now he has long legs like his sister Zhen Zhen.
Keepers are training him to perform different behaviors, and for the most part he is eager to learn. Currently he has been working on extending his arm out for blood draws, which will help keepers and vets maintain his good health. There is no official word on moving him into the front viewing area or opening the north exhibit at this time, but check the blogs periodically for updates!
Anastasia Horning is a panda narrator at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Panda Pregnancy?