SAN MARINO ( — Three of the San Diego Zoo’s star attractions are ordering their meals to go from a local garden.

Once a week, a team from the zoo’s browse horticulturists, which are specialists in growing dietary plant material for zoological collections, make a trek from San Diego to San Marino to obtain bamboo from The Huntington Library’s Botanical Gardens.

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The Huntington’s plant collections include nearly 70 different species of bamboo, many of them native to China, offering a range of delicacies for the zoo’s giant pandas Bai Yun, Gao Gao and three-year-old Xiao Liwu.

“When the zoo dietician contacted us about harvesting some of our bamboo, we were happy to help,” David MacLaren, curator of Asian Gardens at The Huntington, said in a statement. “We’ve got plenty of bamboo to spare, so it’s great to be able to donate some of our surplus growth to such a worthwhile cause.”

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The Huntington’s harvest supplements bamboo grown in the San Diego Zoo’s own groves and vegetation obtained from the San Diego Botanic Garden and other sources.

“The zoo has a limited supply of what they feed the pandas there, and they said it was almost like giving somebody a chocolate chip cookie who has been rice crackers,” MacLaren said.

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The pandas eat up to 50 lbs of bamboo per day.