The Chattanooga Zoo welcomes another red panda, 13- year old Wen-Dee, to her new home in the Himalayan Passage exhibit. Wen-Dee hails from the Kansas City Zoo where she was recommended for relocation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP). Possessing the country’s largest indoor red panda exhibit and a staff specifically trained in geriatric care, the Chattanooga Zoo was the first choice for placement of the red panda.
Despite being of advanced age and struggling with both seasonal and psychogenic alopecia, Wen-Dee is in good health and is intended to serve as a companion animal to the zoo’s current 15-year old male red panda, Nigalya.
AZA’s Red Panda SSP Coordinator and Knoxville Zookeeper Sarah Glass said, “We are grateful for Chattanooga Zoo’s willingness to provide a home for an aging red panda with alopecia. Our SSP has placed several red pandas in the Chattanooga Zoo’s care and we feel confident in their ability to provide a healthy and compassionate environment for Wen-Dee.”
Chattanooga Zoo CEO Darde Long said, “All of us here at the Zoo feel honored and privileged to add WenDee to our collection.”
When asked about Wen-Dee’s alopecia, Ms. Long said, “Wen-Dee’s sporadic hair loss is not a concern; we all have bad hair days. Wen-Dee is a healthy 13-year old red panda for which our staff is uniquely qualified to care.”
Wen-Dee arrives at Chattanooga Zoo on Wednesday and is expected to be out on exhibit within a week or two.