New red panda joins Hogle Zoo
SALT LAKE CITY —Utah’s Hogle Zoo welcomed a new resident this week: a four-year-old female red panda, named Priya.
Priya is from the Pueblo Zoo in Colorado on a “breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Red Panda Species Survival Plan,” according to a release from the zoo.
Priya has been paired with current Hogle Zoo resident, Mow Mow, an eight-year-old male red panda.
“Priya is adapting well to life in Salt Lake City,” associate director of Utah’s Hogle Zoo Animal Care, Bob Cisneros said. “Utahns have the unique opportunity to see these endangered animals interacting and learn how to protect red pandas in the wild. Priya and Mow Mow are here to remind our guests about the need to preserve both wildlife and wild places.”
Red pandas are considered endangered. Native to the mountains of Nepal, central China, and northern Myanmar – the elevations are actually quite similar to Utah’s landscape. According to the release, their unique red color helps them camouflage in the canopy of fir trees where branches are often covered with clumps of rust brown moss and white lichens and 80-95% of their diet consists of bamboo.
“Utah’s weather during red panda breeding season of January through March should be close to what they experience in the wild,” Cisneros said. “Both Priya and Mow Mow have separately bred in the past, and the Zoo is hopeful guests will meet new cubs next year.”
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