Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



The Cub's 28th and 29th Weeks

February 2: If At First You Don't Succeed

Tai Shan in a tubSince Tai Shan climbed his first tree on Sunday, he has been trying hard to climb another tree. He does chinups, pulling himself off the ground, but then is unable to balance and hoist himself up into the tree. Just like his mother, when he encounters a problem, he is determined to solve it. After one failed attempt, he will modify his approach a little bit each time until he succeeds. Our very smart panda can get into another tree, it's just a matter of trial and error.

January 30: Up a Tree

Another first for Tai Shan! Yesterday morning, having explored every inch of the ground, Tai climbed up a tree for the first time. He played up there for hours and climbed as high as 18 feet. As it grew dark, the keepers wanted Tai to be safe inside for the night. While one person distracted Tai, another climbed up a ladder and carried him down.

January 27: Tai Shan Scent Marks

Ever the precocious panda, Tai Shan was seen scent marking for the first time earlier this week. We did not expect this behavior for several months. Just outside the keeper area, he lifted his tail, squatted, and rubbed the gland on his rear end on the ground. Used as a form of communication, scent marking leaves a sticky secretion that smells very interesting to pandas, but is hardly noticeable to us.

January 24: A New Bed

Just like a baby, Tai Shan was playing one minute and sleeping the next. He had been walking on the ground and climbing on the fallen tree for a while, then got comfortable in one spot and suddenly fell asleep. He slept for well over an hour then woke up and started exploring the trunk. This is the first time we've seen him sleep in the tree.

January 23: Visiting the Grotto

Between bouts of playing in the rain this morning, Tai Shan went into the grotto for what may have been the first time. He got up on his hind legs and explored the walls of the grotto, near the front of the yard. By the time he went inside, after hours outside in the mud, he was one dirty panda.

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