A giant panda’s diet is almost 99% bamboo. At the Memphis Zoo, the pandas each eat an average of 25-40 pounds of fresh bamboo depending on the season. Giant pandas are known to be choosey eaters. The pandas will often change their minds about what type of bamboo species they like to snack on, which parts of the plant they will consume and from which source it was harvested. For this reason they need a good assortment of bamboo to choose from.
Memphis Zoo maintains an 11-acre bamboo farm near Shelby Farms, but they still need many other sources to keep a healthy rotation going. The zoo has a dedicated team of bamboo harvesters.