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Kung Fu Panda – Yuan Yuan at Work

Yuan Yuan, the female giant panda at the Taipei Zoo, is having a great time perfecting her barreling stunts. She loves the drum barrel her keeper provided this time. She is playfully running, tumbling and wresting with it. And when she feels tired, she lays on top of it as if it’s a lazy sofa.

We learned from the giant panda video recordings that Yuan Yuan likes to play, said Director Jason Yeh of the Taipei Zoo. In order to improve animal welfare and to prevent animals from stereotyped behaviors due to confined environments, we at the Zoo design enrichments for them to play with or use, for instance arrays of stands and toys (essence oils, pipes and tubes, buckets, straw sacks, floating balls, and other toys) tailor-made specifically for their respective living environments. We also use our monitor video systems to record and to analyze, so as to learn their preference levels and the effects of the enrichments.

The circadian rhythms and activity patterns of captive giant pandas are often influenced by human factors. Although their diurnal activities are lower than that of their wild counterparts, they are still active throughout half of the daylight hours nonetheless. Therefore, in order to improve the welfare of captive giant pandas and to prevent stereotyped behaviors, the Zoo strives to design enrichments aimed at improving their living environment, sensory and feeding well-being overall. In terms of living environment, the Zoo often gives stands and toys for the giant pandas to play with. In terms of sensory, the Zoo introduces different smells at random as stimulants. In terms of food, the Zoo approaches this with diet diversification and varied feeding spots, as well as be hiding food from time-to-time and placed at multiple locations, so that the two must forage and look everywhere, thus their life in-captivity may be enriched and activity volume increased.

Kung Fu Panda: Yuan Yuan @ Taipei Zoo

Kung Fu Panda: Yuan Yuan @ Taipei Zoo

Pandas' Outdoor Enrichments @ Taipei Zoo (Chinese)

Pandas' Outdoor Enrichments @ Taipei Zoo