SALT LAKE CITY (May, 2) –
After close to a decade,Utah’s Hogle Zoo welcomes back the much-missed Red Panda.
Salt Lake County Mayor, Ben McAdams, joins the festivities Wednesday, May 2, 11:30a as the Zoo cuts the ribbon on the Janet Quinney Lawson Red Panda Exhibit.
McAdams will be joined by Patrick Leary, Chief of Staff for Mayor Biskupski; Vicki Bourns, Director of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums and Representative Brian King.
It has been close to a decade since Zoo guests have ooohed and ahhed over this cuddly-looking creature. Red Pandas were a long-time guest favorite until Hogle Zoo had to make room for Rocky Shores. Now, eight years later, the Zoo welcomes a four year-old male and a seven year-old female from Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ.
The two red pandas have been acclimating to their new exhibit which features close to 360-degree viewing; two areas for nose-to-nose encounters and views from the upper dining deck in Asian Highlands. Their new home is also equipped with cooling spots and a recirculated water feature.
Red Pandas are an endangered species native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. Often confused with a raccoon or fox, the Red Panda is mainly active at dawn and dusk and mostly eats bamboo. Thick, red fur covers their entire body, including the soles of their feet, to help conserve body heat.
Utah’s Hogle Zoo works with Red Panda Network to help save this species in the wild. The Zoo and Red Panda Network help train and equip Forest Guardians, protecting native habitats from logging and deforestation. (www.redpandanetwork.org)