Meet our Red Panda
MEET OUR NEW RED PANDA
(Pittsburgh) (2013)— Visitors to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium will get a first-hand look at how beautiful red can be. Our new two-year-old female red panda is now ready to strut her stuff to our visitors in the Asian Forest.
She arrived from the Red River Zoo in North Dakota in late 2012 and spent time behind-the-scenes acclimating to her new home and keepers. “This is the first time we have had a red panda at the Zoo, so we are very excited,” says Henry Kacprzyk, Curator of Kids’ Kingdom & Reptiles.
The red pandas’ fire-red coats blend with a black underside and white face to provide the perfect camouflage among the fir trees of their natural habitat in the cooler climate of the Himalaya Mountains. They are covered in fur, including all over their paws, which enables them to move easily in the treetops. Their tails and long nails also provide balance and support.
“Our panda loves to play on a jungle gym-like structure that we built especially for her,” says Kacprzyk. “She maneuvers easily on the beams. She is also very curious and sits right in front of the window looking out at anyone who stops by.”
The red panda should not be confused with the more well-known and larger black and white panda. Though it has been debated for years as to whether or not they are related, scientists have now determined that the pandas aren’t related and the red panda has its own animal classification.
Red pandas are listed as threatened due to poaching for their beautiful soft fire-red coats and loss of habitat. There are only 2,500 left in the wild.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Members receive free admission for an entire year.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is open year round. For directions, hours, tickets, and group sales information, call 412-665-3640 or visit at pittsburghzoo.org . The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. For more information, visit www.aza.org