Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tickets: Adults $11, Child (3-12 yrs) $6
Introducing Razz, Blank Park Zoo’s newest red panda
How can you not love this face?!
Of all the animals at Blank Park Zoo, red pandas are one of my favorites. I was excited to meet Razz, the Zoo’s new male red panda, last week when he began introductions with our two female red pandas. Introductions are a process the Zoo does to slowly integrate a new animal into an exhibit to see how the animals respond to each other. The introduction phase is going well, and Razz, 1, is enjoying interacting with the Zoo’s red pandas – Berry, 3, and Kitar, 13.
Jessie Lowry, one of the Zoo’s animal keepers, went into the exhibit to snap Razz’s photo and he slowly started towards the camera. I think he liked the attention!
I mean! Gah. Seriously cute.
I never knew that the red panda was the original panda, having been discovered 48 years before the giant black-and-white panda. The word panda comes from the Nepalese word nigalya poonya, which means “eater of bamboo” – a red panda eats approximately 200 leaves of bamboo daily. That’s a lot of bamboo.
Other fun red panda facts:
- Red pandas are able to have babies (cubs) after they reach one year old.
- They have an extra “thumb” – an enlarged bone for grabbing bamboo stems.
- Red pandas are classified as carnivores, occasionally eating an egg, insect or small animal, but they mostly stick to a diet of bamboo leaves, grass and fruit.
- They are most closely related to raccoons. Red pandas are similar to giant pandas and bears but are classified in a species of their own.
- Their red and black fur is perfect for camouflaging from predators. The black on their belly makes them difficult to see from below. The red fur on their back is the same color of the moss found on trees where they live.
- There are two sub-species of red panda –one species is found in Nepal, India and China and the other in China and Burma.
- Red pandas are most active in the morning and late afternoon. They spend the rest of the day conserving their energy by resting in trees.
Do you love the red pandas as much as I do? Did you celebrate International Red Panda Day with us Sept. 15?
Make sure to stop out to Blank Park Zoo soon to meet Razz – you can see him all year long whether he’s outside or in the Discovery Center. Remember, when you’re a Zoo member, every day is free!