The Woodland Park Zoo is thrilled to welcome a new red panda to the zoo. Carson was born at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska in July of 2014. He was named after legendary television host Johnny Carson.
After arriving in late February, Carson is now on exhibit at the zoo’s Wildlife Survival Zone. Zookeeper Jamie Delk spoke about Carson’s high activity level and said, “He’s likely to be spotted climbing around in the trees of his exhibit and snacking on some of the newly grown leaves and pine cones.”
Woodland Park Zoo currently cares for ten-year-old Yukiko and Stellar, an eight-year-old red panda. This pair is currently off exhibit to spend time together through the breeding season. The zoo is hopeful for a baby red panda in the near future.
Zoological breeding programs are important for many species including the red panda. In the wild, red pandas can be found in bamboo forests of China, the Himalayas, and Myanmar. However, fewer than 10,000 red pandas remain in these native habitats. The species has been listed as endangered since 2008. The primary threat to the species is habitat loss or fragmentation from deforestation. The red panda shares these forest habitats with the giant panda. Although they share a name, the direct relation of this species is still argued by scientists and remain unclear. Studies suggest that the red panda is equally related to three different groups of animals including weasels, raccoons, and skunks.
The red pandas at the zoo thrive on a diet of leaf-eater biscuits, bamboo, and various fruits and berries. You can symbolically adopt a red panda to support The Red Panda Network, a conservation initiative to save this species in Nepal. Another way you can support species conservation and research projects is to become a zoo member.
Welcome to Seattle, Carson!