NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A lot of individuals prefer to go to the Nashville Zoo throughout the heat climate months. However one of many extra well-liked animals on the zoo, the crimson pandas, is one thing you possibly can solely see within the wintertime.
M.J. Foletta, a Nashville Zoo Carnivore Keeper launched us to their two particular residents:
“That is Rowan and Lilly,” Foletta defined, “These are our two residential Crimson Pandas right here on the zoo. These guys are native to the Himalayas. So, they actually thrive in chilly climate. So, stuff like snow, rain, and all of the sleet, all of the enjoyable stuff, and chilly climate, they actually, actually thrive.”
And also you just about have to come back throughout the chilly season.
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“Actually, in case you come to the zoo within the summertime, you most likely gained’t see them,” Foletta stated. “Something above 75 levels, just about it’s approach too sizzling for them. These coats that they’ve listed here are actually thick. They really feel nearly like a Scottish Terrier. So, actually coarse. They’re not as smooth as you’d suppose they’re. However it’s actually thick. Helps them maintain heat. And these actually lengthy tails that they’ve, additionally assist maintain them heat. They’ll wrap round it. So, they’ll use that tail to maintain themselves further heat. Sort of like a shawl.”
“I can’t inform you what number of occasions individuals come as much as me in the summertime and say, ‘the place are the crimson pandas?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m so sorry. They’re inside immediately as a result of it’s too sizzling.’ So, this time of 12 months I do know on the ticket sales space plenty of company will stroll up and say ‘plenty of animals aren’t out.’ BUT the crimson pandas are out, and like everyone seems to be pumped about it!”
As traditional, the Nashville zoo is excited by producing offspring.
“We’re within the peak of their breeding season proper now,” Foletta defined. “So, that is when these two are beginning to type of resolve, ‘Okay, are we going to breed or not?’ The breeding season runs from mid-December to February. We often anticipate cubs between April and June.”
“So they’re a part of the SSP Program. The SSP is the Species Survival Program. And principally, we’ve got one individual in command of all of the crimson pandas in North America. And so, with that, these two had been paired collectively as a result of genetically-wise they make a superb pair. And their offspring are genetically beneficial. So, they’ll contribute lots to the inhabitants of crimson pandas in North America.”
And M.J. says that Rowan and Lilly are positively taking an curiosity in each other this 12 months. So, possibly by subsequent 12 months, we’ll see some cubs.
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However there’s yet one more factor that she desires to level out.
“Everybody thinks big pandas are super-cool,” Foletta stated. “And big pandas are cool. Nevertheless, crimson pandas had been found first. So, big pandas had been named after crimson pandas. So, that is the primary panda. (laughs) It’s crucial!”
You’ll be able to inform that she may be very happy with her buddies!
So seize your coat and head over to the Nashville Zoo and take a look at these cute critters.