The National Zoo's panda uses a rod to make brush strokes on a canvas

By Amy Jamieson
August 19, 2016 04:01 PM

It’s good for people to have a hobby — and apparently the same is true for pandas.

Bao Bao, the young panda residing at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is now painting as a part of her “enrichment training” there, according to WUSA9, who reported the story.

The cub, who turns 3 next week, uses a rod — placed half in her cage, half out — to make brush strokes. The rod reaches a canvas being held by a trainer outside the cage, and when needed, paint is reapplied by the trainer.

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“Her natural behavior of using her pseudo thumb to grab bamboo, we’ve taken that behavior and made the special paintbrush that allows her to paint,” one trainer told WUSA. The zoo calls the activity “enrichment training.”

Soon, Bao Bao’s masterpieces may be sitting over someone’s sofa. WUSA said her paintings will be up for auction at upcoming fundraisers.