The Joy of Being Gao Gao

As those of you who watch Panda Cam have seen, Bai Yun and Xiao Liwu are settling in to their temporary home along Center Street, finding their preferred ways of using the new spaces. Since Gao Gao is not seen on camera these days, I thought you’d all appreciate an update on the grand fellow.

Gao Gao is doing well and seems to be enjoying his ‘staycation’ in the Giant Panda Research Building. During the day, he is out in his large yard and enjoys his breakfast under the sun. He also has access to his bedrooms and can choose to stay in his yard or go inside the air-conditioned rooms.

When he is not dozing under the shady (and sweet-scented!) honeysuckle plant, he sleeps snuggled in his favorite tub filled with pine shavings. Gao gets to make his own schedule during the day. On some mornings, he likes to sleep in (in his comfy tub), while on other mornings he is up earlier and ready for some exercise in his yard.

Of course, Gao is very good at keeping us busy—calling for extra treats or even back scratches. He continues to do well with his training with his weekly blood pressure readings and occasional blood draws. He is an amazing bear and seems to enjoy all his training sessions where he gets his favorite treat of honey water. His keepers always make sure he is comfortable and very spoiled (and we treasure every moment of it!).

Jennifer Becerra is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous blog, Springtime in Panda Canyon.