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Candice Rennels | (405) 425-0298 |

OKC Zoo News Releases


Celebrate International Red Panda Day on Saturday, September 18, with the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden and Bob Moore Subaru to learn more about this unique species, known as the “original panda.” International Red Panda Day will occur at the red panda habitat in Sanctuary Asia from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This special event will have a variety of hands-on activities and the opportunity to learn more about the Zoo’s red panda training and enrichment programs. Event activities are free with Zoo admission and include:

  • Kids Activities with Prizes: Event-goers 11 and under will have opportunity to learn about red pandas through interactive activities: PANDAmonium Plunk and Red Panda Ranger challenges.

  • Photo Opportunities, hosted by Bob Moore Subaru.

  • Conservation Education Station.

  • Red Panda Conservation Wristbands.

  • Facebook Live Chats: Tune in here, Facebook, for special livestreams featuring the Zoo’s carnivore caretaker experts.

o    Caretaker Conservation Chat, 9:30 a.m.: Red Panda Training Session

o    Caretaker Conservation Chat, 12 p.m.: Red Panda Enrichment Opportunity

Red pandas, also known as the “original panda,” are bamboo eaters, native to Asia’s high forests. This species is easily identified by their unique reddish-brown fur, which acts as camouflage in the wild. They are solitary except during breeding season, and may live as long as 23 years old. They have an estimated population of less than 10,000, with a conservation status of endangered. Due to habitat loss, the global red panda population has declined by 50% in the last 20 years.

The Zoo is home to two red pandas, Thomas, 8, and his daughter Khyana, 3. The Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Red Panda Species Survival Plan® (SSP), meaning that the Zoo works with other AZA organizations to improve population size and maintain genetic diversity.

OKC Zoo’s International Red Panda Day Facts

1.       Red pandas are mammals that live in mountain forests of Nepal, India, Bhutan, China, and Myanmar. Red pandas are the “original panda.” They were discovered 48 years before giant pandas.

2.       The name “panda” originates from the Nepalese words “nigalya poonya,” which means “eater of bamboo”.

3.       In China red pandas are sometimes called “firefoxes” because of their color and similar size to foxes.

4.       The red panda’s uniquely-colored fur helps camouflage in the forest. The trees red pandas climb have a red moss and the black coloring on their stomachs makes it challenging to see them from below.

5.       The red panda’s sharp claws and fluffy feet and tail helps it to stay warm and grip onto slippery mossy branches.

6.       The red panda population is declining because of deforestation, poaching and the illegal pet trade. The species is currently listed as endangered species on the IUCN Red List.

7.       Red pandas are uniquely their own, as they are the sole member of the family Ailuridae. Red pandas have no living relatives.  

8.       The OKC Zoo’s is home to two red pandas, Thomas, and his daughter, Khyana. They are part of a Species Survival Plan for Red Pandas (SSP) a cooperative network that breeds and conserves red pandas worldwide.

9.       Red pandas are solitary animals that are most active in early mornings and late afternoons

Make PANDAstic plans to attend International Red Panda Day at the Oklahoma City Zoo on Saturday, September 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the Zoo’s red panda family. Hosted locally by Bob Moore Subaru, event activities will take place in Sanctuary Asia near the red panda habitat and include an information station, interactive activities for kids 11 and under, animal enrichment, Facebook Live chats, photo opportunities and more. All event activities are free with Zoo admission. To learn more, visit the Zoo’s Facebook.

The Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members and can be purchased at  Zoo tickets are limited each day to ensure safe social distancing among guests. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay connected with the Zoo on FacebookTwitterInstagram, TikTok, Linktree and by visiting our blog stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit


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