Lun Lun is such a great mother! Watch mama bear care for her two bundles of joy on PandaCam!

We’ve noticed that the nest box is very clean. Babies usually make a mess! What happens to the waste when Lun Lun stimulates the cubs to defecate and urinate? Curator of Mammals Rebecca Snyder, PhD, gives Cub Confidential subscribers the scoop on the poop: 

“We have mentioned in previous updates that the cubs cannot, yet, urinate and defecate on their own. This is normal for young carnivores, including puppies and kittens. The mother licks the young to stimulate voiding waste, and she consumes the waste. This sounds really gross, but it’s normal for carnivore moms. It also serves the important purpose of keeping the nest/den clean. This keeps harmful bacteria from growing, reduces the chance of parasites accumulating, and makes it harder for predators to find the den. The cubs will start to urinate and defecate on their own at around four months of age. This is also when the cubs will be able to walk well, and thus it is when the den phase ends for giant pandas. Young carnivores of other species also start to void on their own when the den phase ends.”

Heather Roberts, Keeper III, has been with the cubs since Day 1! She shares this update exclusively with Cub Confidential:

“Now that we are swapping the cubs every six hours, Lun Lun is able to take longer naps. Caring for one infant is very tiring for a panda mother, but caring for the twins has been exhausting for Lun Lun. Even though she only has one cub at a time, when they had to nurse every two to four hours, she pretty much constantly had a hungry cub! Now that the cubs are older, they can go six to eight hours between nursing bouts. So Lun Lun has more time to herself for eating and sleeping without disturbance, and she is taking full advantage of this time. She is clearly more rested now than she was for the first six weeks after the cubs were born.”

Thanks, Heather! Lun Lun needs the rest. Soon the cubs will be walking, and she’ll need the energy to keep up with both of them!

Did you see the cubs on Good Morning America? If you missed it, check out this video of our twins getting a routine vet check-up!


Here’s your chance to win a panda experience of a lifetime! The PANDA Extravaganza Sweepstakes opened last week for your chance to win an all-expenses-paid panda experience of a lifetime. The sweepstakes will randomly select a single winner for an exclusive behind-the-scenes encounter for two in the giant panda nursery, VIP participation for two in the cubs’ 100 Day Naming Celebration, round-trip airfare, two nights at W Atlanta - Downtown, dinner for two at BLT Steak Atlanta, and a spa package for two at Bliss Atlanta! What are you waiting for? Enter now on the Zoo Atlanta website or on Zoo Atlanta’s Facebook page. Entrants must provide a name, email address, mailing address and telephone number to enroll. No purchase is necessary. Participants must be 18 years old or older and citizens or permanent legal residents of the 50 U.S. states. The winner will be contacted and announced by Zoo Atlanta.
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