Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo set to open Red Panda Habitat

BRIDGEPORT —  The Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is set to open the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat this month.

The habitat will be the home for Rochan and Meri, the Zoo’s Red panda pair. The habitat offers indoor and outdoor viewing and access for the Red pandas. The Beardsley Zoo said a guest-viewing platform reached by a ramp leads to two views, one into the outdoor exhibit and one into the building. It is set to open Oct. 13.

Credit: Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo – Shannon Calvert

“The Red pandas, who prefer cooler temperatures, can choose to be in air conditioning in warm weather. The new habitat features a yard landscaped with bamboo (Rochan and Meri eat approximately 2,000 bamboo leaves daily!), with plenty of treetop spots for sunbathing,” said the zoo.

The zoo added that Rochan was once a temporary visitor while his habitat at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Mass., was undergoing renovations.

The zoo said Rochan became a permanent member of the zoo family in October, 2015.

The zoo said Meri arrived in February of this year.

Credit: Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo – Shannon Calvert

“Meri, short for Meriadoc, arrived in February 2018 from the Brandywine Zoo in Delaware,” said the zoo. “Red pandas are vulnerable in the wild, with fewer than 10,000 adult Red pandas in existence. As a result, they are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which manages specific, typically threatened or endangered species populations. Inter-regional transfers are managed by the SSP in the hope that successful breeding will take place.”

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