The Outdoor Training for Meng Lan and Qi Qi
Date: 2017-12-06

On the afternoon of November 6, a sudden scream of visitors was heard from the Giant Panda Kindergarten, outside of the Sunshine Delivery House of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Giant pandas Meng Lan and Qi Qi born in 2015 were then playing in the Giant Panda Kindergarten, what happened to them?


Fan of “Holding legs”—Meng Lan


When came closer, it was found that the keepers entered the enclosure. One of the keepers held a metal vessel in hand, with a whistle in his mouth—what is he doing? Before visitors could ask, Meng Lan led Qi Qi to move towards the legs of the keeper and instantly hugged together. No matter how many times the keeper asked them to let him go, they just wouldn’t let go. The keeper had to move to another side of the jungle gym. Before Meng Lan could do the same thing, the keeper whistled and then patted a corner of the jungle gym—Meng Lan followed the keeper quietly to put his hands on the wood as if he received an instruction. Immediately, the keeper grabbed a piece of apple from the metal box and put it into Meng Lan’s mouth to praise him.


The keeper whistled to let Meng Lan put his hands on the wood.


Qi Qi also heard the calling of the keeper. He also climbed cheerily up to the jungle gym and followed the order to put his hand on the other end of the wood to get the food.


The keeper gave the sign to let Qi Qi put his hand on the end of the wood.


Look at us, how lovely we are. (Qi Qi on the left and Meng Lan on the right)


“I have put my hand here, please come and feed me!” (Meng Lan on the left and Qi Qi on the right)


Going back and forth, the keeper changed his positions often. He commanded Meng Lan and Qi Qi to move around and put their hands on the place that he wanted them to. But the pandas were sometimes very naughty. Meng Lan seemed to prefer to hold the legs rather than hold the wood by following the instruction. Not soon, Meng Lan just slid down from the jungle gym and held the keeper’s rain boot tightly, causing a great laugh of the visitors.


Mischievous Meng Lan


“Holding the legs is funnier than holding the wood.” (Meng Lan on the left and Qi Qi on the right)


“It exhausted me to use my brain so much, let me relax…” (Meng Lan)


Other than holding the legs, Meng Lan and Qi Qi schemed to take away the metal box with apples from the keeper. One was in charge of distracting the feeder and another stole the box. They bit the box in turns to pour out the food to their mouths. But they never expected that there left only a little food in the box….


“Diversionary tactics!” (Qi Qi on the left and Meng Lan on the right)


“Let’s eat more!”(Qi Qi on the left and Meng Lan on the right)


“Don’t take away my apples.” (Qi Qi on the left and Meng Lan on the right)


The interactions among Meng Lan, Qi Qi and the keeper amused lots of visitors. Maybe some visitors regarded it as a show. However, in fact this activity was not for entertaining the humans but for the health of the pandas.


As the powerful beasts, giant pandas choose to be cute. However, they are real fighters. In order to do the checkups on giant pandas in captivity, get the blood from them and vaccinate them, keepers have to conduct behavior trainings on the cubs, so that they won’t hurt themselves and those keepers close to them in the future. The training that day was conducted when changing the food for the female adult giant panda Ke Lin who took care of Meng Lan and Qi Qi. At that time, Ke Lin went back to the room when the safety of the keeper was guaranteed so the keepers attracted the attention of Meng Lan and Qi Qi in case they disturbed another keeper to change the food. Therefore, the amazing show in fact was a behavior training class for Meng Lan and Qi Qi.


“You’d better stretch after exercising.” (Meng Lan)





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