I have been studying the stereotypic activities of the pandas here at Bi Feng Xia for the past several weeks, keeping track of what kinds of stereotypies each panda exhibits and the amount of time they spend on these behaviors. So far, Yao Yuan is the only panda that has not shown any kind of stereotypy or quasi-stereotype during the times that I have observed her. Yao Yuan is a wild born female panda, the keepers at the breeding center estimate that she was born around 1994, making her about 18 years old. She was bred earlier this year and if she is pregnant, the keepers believe she will be the first panda to give birth, probably in mid-July. Like most pandas, she does spend the majority of her time eating and sleeping, but when she is active (usually early in the morning), I have not seen her pace, sway or do any of the head tilts that are characteristic of some of the other pandas.
The other day during my morning observation, Continue reading