9 Month Update
Our giant panda cubs are gowing fast. Jia Panpan weighs in at 16.8kg and Jia Yueyue at 13.25kg. As they've gotten older, our panda keepers have been patiently waiting to start a training program with them both, something Er Shun and Da Mao have participated in since they arrived in 2013.
The Toronto Zoo has a very extensive positive reinforcement training program. This voluntary training is very enriching for the animals and greatly enhances the overall care and management. It assists in various veterinary procedures, breeding programs and routine husbandry activities. This was used by Toronto Zoo staff to ultrasound Er Shun on a regular basis to determine her pregnancy! This method uses a food item that is rewarding enough for the pandas to want to participate and stay engaged. Since the cubs were four months old, the keepers have offered them pieces of apple (mom's favourite) however, the cubs didn't take much interest in them. Following the National Zoo's lead with training their cub Bei Bei, the keepers tried small pieces of cooked yam and the cubs loved it!
The panda keepers are thrilled with the cubs’ progress and are amazed by how quickly they are learning. Visit them daily from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm in the Giant Panda Experience.