Wild Times Archive

New Red Panda Residence

New Red Panda Residence: A Palatial Playground

Our red panda family – Mama Pip, Papa Kalden, and youngster Paprika – are ecstatic with their luxurious new habitat! It is very possibly the most creatively-designed space in the world for red pandas to live, play, breed, and raise their young. The opportunities for climbing, crawling, exploring, and finding the perfect nap place are endless.

Best of all, guests can view these magnificent creatures through large glass windows inside the building or with a mere four-foot panel of glass separating them in one of the large outside yards. There is even a parallel playground (opening soon!) for youngsters to climb and navigate while the red pandas roam in the yard next to them.

Red pandas have curved, semi-retractable claws and a false thumb (which is actually an extended wrist bone) to help them climb trees and grip narrow branches. Be sure to look up at the two massive, more than 60-years-old elm trees (these trees were protected during construction)! Our red pandas love to curl up in a ball and nap nestled in the branches.

The building’s state-of-the-art design offers a functional space that meets all of the red pandas’ needs including an active lifestyle and stimulation.

Interior Features

  • Four separate living quarters, each equipped with a camera, a camera-monitored nesting box, and an entrance to the outside yard.
  • Enclosures can be connected so the pandas can pass through one to next, or locked off so a nursing mom or an animal under medical care can have privacy.
  • The mesh gate between enclosures allows new pandas to observe and meet the established residents in an easy, stress-free manner before being introduced face-to-face.
  • Each enclosure offers trees, hammocks, and other activity options.
  • Air conditioning keeps our cold climate-loving pandas comfortable during the summer.
  • A spacious kitchen allows keepers to prepare the panda diets; refrigerate bamboo, fruits, and vegetables; and store leaf eater biscuits.
  • Floor to ceiling windows and a sky light flood the space with sunshine.
  • A VIP room is available to rent for corporate and private events. Guests can observe the red pandas in the attached enclosure and mingle in the outside courtyard.

Exterior Features

  • There is a total of three outside yards.
  • One outside space can be blocked off for privacy or to separate the pandas if needed.
  • A second yard, adjacent to the building, gives each of the four living quarters access to the outside and a variety of climbing options including the giant elm tree.
  • An overhead bridge allows the pandas to leave the second yard and cross over to the third yard where another huge elm stands ready for exploration.
  • Parallel playground for kids allows guests to mimic the pandas as they scale a configuration of ropes and ladders. What’s fun for the pandas is fun for the people!
  • Building is constructed from balau, a sustainable and responsibly managed wood from the Pacific-Asia region.

Thank you City of Edmonton, Valley Zoo Development Society, and our key sponsor, Gregg Distributors Ltd., for making our new home possible!

Love Pip, Kalden, & Paprika

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