ANDRITZ goes Zoo! A special menu for giant Pandas

Following an unusual request in 2019 from the famous Vienna zoo in Austria for the refining and preparation of bamboo feed for its giant pandas, the cooperation between the zoo and ANDRITZ successfully continues.

The Vienna zoo in Austria is not only famous for being the world's oldest zoo, it is also one of the few zoos worldwide with giant pandas. This year, the zoo is celebrating its 20-year jubilee of cooperation with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association. A cooperation of great success: Yang Yang (a female) lives at Vienna zoo since 2003 and during that time gave birth to five baby giant pandas, including the birth of twins. All of the babies have been sent back to China.


Not only are giant pandas very rare, but their nutrition is special as well. They more or less solely eat bamboo. An essential part of their nutrition is steamed bamboo bread. Rice flour, corn flour and above all bamboo form the basis. It is an important addition to the natural bamboo sticks as it delivers important nutrients and energy. In 2019 a new male (Yuan Yuan) arrived at Vienna zoo. As Yuan Yuan’s teeth are a bit worn, he can’t chew the entire bamboo sticks – only the leaves – and therefore has a higher demand on bread. And this is how ANDRITZ came into play.


So far, the Vienna zoo refined the bamboo manually so that bamboo bread could be prepared. But the increasing demand exceeded the capacity and a solution needed to be found.

Denis Jozic, Fiber and Product Manager at ANDRITZ says, “Technology managers at the Fiber R&D Center have to deal with a lot of different requests, for example, developing new pulping processes for new raw materials. However, this most unusual and interesting request came in 2019 from the Vienna Zoo. We were asked to grind up bamboo in a special way into flour so it could be used for preparing the bamboo bread and the task immediately got the full attention of the team in Graz. We investigated different solutions and in close cooperation with the zoo we developed a process that was the easiest and most optimal for both parties: the zoo pre-shreds the bamboo and ANDRITZ grinds the material in the disperser at the pilot plant in Graz. Since the first contact with the zoo, ANDRITZ has ground the bamboo to full customer satisfaction four times and it's now a well-established process. We hope that this cooperation will continue for many years to come.”

In fact, the giant pandas liked the ANDRITZ solution so much that cooperation with the zoo continues and there are orders for the specially prepared bamboo going well into the future.

Bamboo refining for giant pandas at Vienna Zoo

Laura Liukkonen, Global Director of Fiber R&D centers at ANDRITZ says, “It always puts smiles on our faces at the R&D center when we see the van from the zoo delivering the unprocessed bamboo. “We generally receive a delivery of 500 kg of raw bamboo in bags, which we then hand feed onto our conveyor. Everybody at the center generally gets involved as this is a manual process; we feed the bamboo through the disperser twice. This regular project really shows that ANDRITZ can take on any task when it comes to raw material refining, especially since the pandas are such important customers.”

Male giant panda Yuan Yuan in Vienna Zoo, Tiergarten Schönbrunn

© studioMIPS

“The way ANDRITZ dealt with this unusual and out of-the-ordinary order was exceptionally kind and professional.”

Dr. Eveline Dungl
Zoo Curator and Animal Trainer, Schönbrunn Zoo Vienna

Arrival of pre-shredded bamboo

© studioMIPS

Feeding bamboo into the ANDRITZ disperser

©  studioMIPS

Bamboo before and after processing

© studioMIPS

Kiva Prinsloo, Animal keeper, Vienna Zoo

© studioMIPS

“For an animal lover like me, it is a pleasure having the Vienna Zoo among our customers. I hope that this extraordinary collaboration will continue for many years to come.”

Denis Jozic

Process and Technology
ANDRITZ Paper, Fiber and Recycling division


“Although we have experience with all kinds of fibers, producing food for giant pandas was something new for us. The whole pilot plant team is proud of this project.”

Laura Liukkonen

Global Director of R&D Centers, ANDRITZ

ANDRITZ is very proud to be part of such a worthwhile collaboration project and was happy to hear that Yuan Yuan immediately enjoyed his freshly prepared food!


From left to right: Dr. Eveline Dungl, Zoological Curator and Animal Trainer; Laura Hinterndorfer, Animal Keeper, Kiva Prinsloo, Animal Keeper, and Denis Jozic, Process and Technology, ANDRITZ Paper, Fiber and Recycling division

© studioMIPS

All-round protection for giant pandas

Since 2003, the Vienna Zoo has been one of only a few zoos worldwide to house giant pandas. The threatened bears are the most well-known symbol of species protection. The work of the Vienna Zoo’s panda protection program includes financial support for panda reserves, important research work, and a regular exchange of knowledge on such topics as wildlife management and ecotourism.

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