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Pandas are Bamboo’s Pickiest Eaters

By Bamboo Grove on June 28, 2018

Bamboo has been a source of food for animal and man for a long time. In that time, some of us are more prone to eating it than others. For some animals, it’s their main source of food, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be picky eaters about it. The panda’s of Zoo Atlanta are bamboo enthusiasts. In fact, they eat about 200 lbs of the plant a day. You’d be amazed to find out that all of that bamboo isn’t shipped in from across the country. It’s actually locally sourced right from the Atlanta area. It comes from backyards that Zoo Atlanta’s bamboo team personally picks.

All in all, the team harvests about 400 lbs of bamboo a day to keep the pandas full. The team has noticed that the bears tend to really like yellow groove bamboo. So when the team finds a yard that carries this bamboo, they get excited to harvest. There are over 20 types of bamboo in the Atlanta area. These men and women could easily be confused for a landscaping company, but for hungry panda’s you need just that. The key to the bamboo harvest is that you don’t kill the crop, you harvest from it and leave it to grow more for next year.

The workers at the zoo work around the clock to keep their bears from staging a hungry revolt. That said, sometimes the bears aren’t all that appreciative of their food. Sometimes, no matter how much of a variety they try to give them, they just won’t bite. Meaning, that the bamboo will be given to other animals at the zoo. Elephants, for example, seem far less picky about what type of bamboo they eat. They’re just happy to be eating it. You might say that the panda’s have established quite the diva mentality.

This relationship between the zoo and local bamboo growers is a very strong one. It allows people who grow bamboo in the Atlanta area the ability to make some money and feed one of the zoos treasures. Perhaps a business relationship like this will encourage more people in the United States to grow bamboo. It’s nice to hear that smaller growers can get their plants out there without massive commercial properties.

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