Red Panda Update

The Zoo is incredibly saddened to announce that red panda Oscar died unexpectedly from an acute bacterial pneumonia infection last month. Oscar was born in 2008 and is well represented in his offspring. He was father to Charlie, Thomas, Cinnamon, and Ginger, all born here at the Zoo.

Ginger and Charlie have both moved on to new zoos, based on breeding recommendations. Thomas and Cinnamon, along with our red panda matron Missy, can be seen on exhibit in the enclosure along the main pathway.

Animal care staff is relatively certain that female red panda Bernadette is pregnant now with Oscar’s last set of cubs. The Panda Cam has been placed back into Bernadette’s house and we are anxiously awaiting any signs of a pending birth.

Red pandas are tree-dwelling animals native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. Slightly larger than a domestic cat and with markings similar to a raccoon, red pandas have soft, dense reddish-brown and white fur. They feed mainly on bamboo, which is how they got their name despite not actually being related to giant pandas. They are shy and solitary except when mating and females give birth in the spring and summer, typically to one to three young. Red panda cubs remain in their nests for more than 90 days, during which time their mother cares for them.

The best time to see Bernadette on the Panda Cam is during the day, especially when it’s hot outside. The house is air conditioned and a perfect napping place for thick-furred pandas. Bernadette is usually more active outside in the late afternoons and evenings.

Stay tuned for updates on what might be Oscar and Bernadette’s third set of twins!