No matter how many times you go some place there's always something new to find. Sunday, I got to the National Zoo a bit early for my panda behavior watch shift, so I decided to walk up and see the new lionesses again. Last Sunday, both lionesses were out and the lion, Tsavo, was off exhibit. This time, he was out with just one of the lionesses. For the most part, they seemed to be ignoring each other; they were in the same part of the enclosure, but not interacting. She was in the back of the yard, making vocalizations toward the wall and Tsavo was laying around near the front of the top level of the yard, but she did walk over at one point and rub faces with him, getting an "awww" from the crowd.
After watching the lions for a bit, I walked around the great cats exhibit and watched the tigers tearing apart some pumpkins that had been left over from Hallowe'en. Then I noticed a path into the bamboo. At first I thought it was the exit from Tiger Tracks (a children's exhibit that talks about the lives of tigers), but then I noticed an enclosure. It turns out the zoo has a caracal and a serval hiding on this little side trail that connects the back of the great cats exhibit to Think Tank.
I asked one of the panda keepers if those enclosures were new and she said they'd been there as long as she had ... about 17 years. I think I just never noticed them because I usually was paying attention to the tigers (especially when we had cubs) and never looked behind me.
During the watch, I did get to touch panda fur for the first time. They have a bag of fur from when one the pandas needed to be shaved a little for a blood draw or something similar. It's really stiff and wiry, like the fur of some terriers.
Other than that, Evelin is now part of the "every day club," meaning she has to go to the clinic every morning for a blood draw and an ultrasound. Sunday, there were 25 follicles on the left ovary and 10 on the right with mean diameters ranging from 11.1 mm to 15.2 mm (actually that's just the range among the four largest from each side; the others weren't measured). Retrieval looks on target for Friday, but might happen on Thursday, depending upon how big things are getting and what the E2 levels are.