China, November 2013 – Travel Notes
If you read our post about Foster Moms, you may have already guessed that we spent quite a bit of time during our first day tour at the New Breeding Center. The center is actually quite large with just over a dozen enclosures, each with indoor and outdoor areas for the pandas. The onsite keepers office is equipped with monitors to keep a virtual eye on the pandas in addition to the staff seeing to their physical needs. The monitors are especially helpful during birthing and the earliest days after cubs are born, when mothers are reluctant to “share” their cubs with the keepers and vets.
In addition to the moms that we featured earlier this week who are raising cubs, there are eight other pandas currently in residence at the New Breeding Center.
Jun Zhu, Zhuang Mei, Yao Man, and Zhen Zhen were in the indoor portions of their enclosures. We arrived right at feeding time, so they were either happily munching or eagerly awaiting their breakfast.
You You and Cui Cui were outside, taking in the cool morning air.
Finally, there are Mei Sheng and Yang Yang, who have the distinction of being the only males at the New Breeding Center. As Suzanne mentioned in her trip review, the reason for this is to introduce them to the scent of females which will hopefully encourage them to mate naturally during the next breeding season. During our visit, Mei Sheng was quite interested in Na Na, next door. When she took a rare break from her cub to go outside for a few minutes, Mei Sheng immediately moved over to the “window” between their enclosures to get a closer look. Mei Sheng’s curiosity is encouraging. Yang Yang was outside enjoying the breeze.