A 1-year-old female from the National Zoo's Conservation and
Research Center joins the 3-year-old male at Miller Park Zoo to
establish a breeding pair. The zoo hopes that this new breeding pair
will produce cubs as early as next spring.
Red pandas are
unique-looking creatures, with long tails that range between 12 and
20 inches, reddish-brown hair and a dark-colored underside.
"The red panda stands out in many ways with distinctive coat
coloring," said Jay Tetzloff, the zoo superintendent. "Most animals
have a light-colored underside, but the red pandas have a blacking
color coat on the underside and a lighter coat on top. Their faces
are lightly colored with ‘tear-marking.' They also have distinctive,
bushy ringed tails."
Breeding programs are an important part of the Miller Park Zoo
mission and play a vital part in the conservation mission of
programs in the Species Survival Plan.
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According to the World Wildlife Fund, red pandas are "highly
endangered," a distinction given to the species since 1988.
Deforestation in China and Nepal has been shrinking the natural
habitat of the red panda.
During the summertime, the best viewing hours for zoo guests to
see the red pandas are in the morning, when the animals are more
active. Miller Park Zoo is open to guests at 9:30 a.m.
Miller Park Zoo file received from
Bloomington Parks & Recreation]