Chattanooga Zoo’s New Red Panda Unveiled

Friday, May 23, 2014
Maina,  the new red panda at the Chattanooga Zoo
Maina, the new red panda at the Chattanooga Zoo

The Chattanooga Zoo announced the arrival of the newest addition to the Chattanooga Zoo family member, Maina the red panda. 

Maina is a 10 month old red panda. She came to the Chattanooga Zoo as a breeding loan from the Oklahoma City Zoo as part of the Species Survival Plan. Maina has been recommended for breeding with the Chattanooga Zoo’s resident red panda, Wyatt.  

The SSP is a population management and conservation program created by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This program focuses on breeding programs by strictly monitoring the placement and propagation of selected endangered Species. The Chattanooga Zoo officials hope to breed Maina and Wyatt, in hopes of fulfilling the Zoo’s mission to conserve animals and protect endangered species. Maina and Wyatt’s breeding recommendation marks the second recommendation for the Chattanooga Zoo and hopefully the first successful. 

“It’s exciting to be part of the SSP and their conservation efforts,” says Stacy Laberdee, curator of Mammals and Birds. “Successfully breeding this pair will help show how hard we work to conserve and care for our animals.”

Maina will be on exhibit full time and open to public viewing beginning Saturday. She will be exhibited in the outdoor day yard. Like all of the animals, Maina will have access to her indoor den. If guests come by and don’t spot her, she may be inside cooling off in the air conditioning. The Zoo’s other red pandas will be exhibited in the indoor exhibit until introduced to their new companion. Introductions of all the red pandas will begin as soon as the red pandas’ keepers feel the animals are ready. 

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