Watch Atlanta’s Panda, Lun Lun, giving birth. (November 3, 2010)

This was more cool than I was expecting… but then, I’m an animal person.

Friday, November 5
Lun Lun’s new cub is thriving due to her superb mothering skills.
I have gotten several good looks at the cub and it is moving well, has a fat tummy, and a healthy set of lungs! All of the nursery keepers have observed the cub nursing and its round belly is evidence of this. Lun Lun has not eaten since the afternoon before her labor began and the last time she drank was during her labor. This is normal. Wild giant panda mothers do not leave their cubs for at least a few days after the birth and one mother did not leave her cub for three weeks after giving birth. This is astounding given that giant pandas feed almost exclusively on bamboo, and thus do not build up significant fat stores. This is just one more example of how interesting giant panda behavior and physiology is. It is normal for captive females to refrain from eating and drinking after birth too, even though food and water are only a few feet away. However, tonight Lun Lun was leaning with her back against the wall close to one set of the vertical bars and I was able to safely offer her a small tub of water through the bars. She was able to lean over and drink without putting the cub down. She drank the entire amount and wanted more, so I filled the tub again and she drank all of that as well. Although it is normal for her to refrain from eating, drinking or eliminating for several days after giving birth, keeping hydrated will help her to stay healthy and continue to provide excellent care to her baby. –Heather Baker Roberts

Way cool, Heather!

Giant panda born at Zoo Atlanta, November 3rd

Another Attack of the Giant Panda: We’re DOOMED!

“Get off my lawn!!!”

Gu Gu is not your typical soft and cuddly giant panda.

For the third time, he’s tasted the flesh of an unwitting intruder in his pen at the Beijing Zoo.

His most recent victim was 28-year-old Zhang Jiao, who told CNN he fell into the panda pen Wednesday while trying to catch a small toy thrown by his young son.

“My son and I were playing with a panda doll, throwing it to each other, when I dropped with the toy” into the pen, Zhang said.

The barrier around the pen is about 5 feet tall, but on the other side is a drop of 9 to 10 feet, and Zhang says he could not climb out.

And then.. here it comes.. you know the victim is going to say it… Drumroll………..

Zhang said he never imagined a panda could be so vicious.

“I always thought they were cute and just ate bamboo.”

Ignorant student tries to hug a Panda. It’s a bear, dude!

“Do you want me to bite you?”

A college student in southern China was bitten by a panda after he broke into the bear’s enclosure hoping to get a hug.

The student was visiting Qixing Park with classmates on Friday when he jumped the 6.5-foot high fence around the panda’s habitat. The park in Guilin, a popular tourist town in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, houses a small zoo and a panda exhibit. It was virtually deserted when the student scaled the fence surrounding the panda, named Yang Yang, an employee said.

He said the student was bitten on the arms and legs. Two foreign visitors who saw the attack ran to get help from workers at a nearby refreshment stand, who notified park officials, the employee said.

“Yang Yang was so cute, and I just wanted to cuddle him. I didn’t expect he would attack,” the 20-year-old student, surnamed Liu, said in a local hospital, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

How many signs do you need to put up to tell people not to do something stupid?