By Amanda Mayberry, Carnivore Keeper
International Red Panda Days are coming up on Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13th from 10 am to 4 pm.
What is a Red Panda you ask?
Well, Red pandas are the cute fluffy things you will find next door to the Australian outback! But, don’t let them fool you. They have sharp claws to help them climb and sharp teeth to help them chew. They are considered the first true “Panda” as they were discovered prior to the Giant Pandas. Red Pandas are not actually related to the Giants but are unique unto themselves. The two species however share a love of bamboo and come from the same region. Come to our International Red Panda Days and find out more!
How do we take care of the Pandas?
In the morning, we call all of the Pandas in for their breakfast. Each Panda gets fed in a separate den space so we know how much they are eating (One of our females likes to eat ALL of the food so we have to make sure the others get enough). She is a funny panda, that one. Sometimes you will find her sleeping in a little hole in the back wall, upside down hugging a piece of bamboo. Next time you are at the zoo see if you can catch her in this amusing position! There's also a photo below!
While the Pandas are eating inside, we go outside and clean the exhibit. Once the exhibit is clean, we put out fresh cut bamboo and fresh water. When the Pandas are done eating we let them back outside to enjoy their bamboo shoots and lounge around for the rest of the day. In the afternoon, we give them the rest of their food for the night and do one last check to make sure everyone is alright. The Pandas are very mellow animals and only get excited when they are threatened or scared. Luckily that doesn’t happen often so you will see our 3 sleeping in their favorite spots. When you visit, see if you can find all three!
Red Panda Days
Take advantage of extra Keeper Chats at the Red panda exhibit, this Saturday and Sunday during Red Panda Days! The Sacramento Zoo will be hosting International Red Panda Day, which is an interactive and educational event developed to raise awareness about Red Panda conservation.
Kids (and adults too!) can become “Red Panda Rangers” after stopping at the various Red Panda Stations and completing the Panda activities. Any and all donations from this event are given to The Red Panda Network, a conservation group working directly with community-based organizations in Nepal.
There will be five Red Panda Stations around the Zoo, each with a different panda activity. Begin your journey at the front of the Zoo, where you can pick up a passport containing the five Himalayan territories where Red Pandas are found.
Red Panda Keeper Chats will be at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm at the Red panda exhibit.