Birthing Season in China
Well, the learning curve continues for more staff at Adelaide Zoo with all things concerning pandas. Last month one of Zoos SA’s vets, Lynley Johnson, as well as Adelaide Zoo’s hand-rearing coordinator, Dianne Hakof, were lucky enough to travel over to China for a two week trip to learn more about our black and while friends.
October is the end of the birthing season in China so it was perfect timing for the two of them to head over. They both learnt so much while over there and they were also lucky enough to stop over at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park and spend time with the vets and keepers that look after their Giant Pandas as well.
One of the great things about having the pandas here is the relationships you build with other institutions and the staff development that is associated with it as well. Staff from Adelaide Zoo staff are able to go over to China every year in order to gain a better understanding about these amazing animals. It works both ways as well in that Chinese staff are also welcome to come over to Adelaide Zoo to learn new skills. They can benefit from things such as learning new enrichment skills, training techniques and general husbandry ideas from our staff here.
Lynley and Di had an amazing trip and have come back with so many ideas of things we can do to learn and care for Wang Wang and Fu Ni. Ocean Park showed them some new and exciting training things that we can look into, including more accurate ways of obtaining blood samples and safer ways to do ultra sounds in the future. In China, Lynley and Di saw lots of mothers caring for young, and developed a better understanding of what to expect and what is normal with cubs. They even spent timing learning about hand rearing techniques if a cub ever needs to be hand raised.
So once again a successful trip all round! We also have two other staff about to head over to the International Panda Conference in China. This is going to benefit us to make more contacts in the Giant Panda community and is more conservation based. They will be learning more about the conservation projects that are being undertaken in China and what we can do to help pandas in the wild.
Until next time!