As a new Red Panda Network board member, I was really excited to participate in the Sacramento Zoo’s Pandamonium celebration, which took place July 9-10, 2011 and highlighted the reopening of the zoo’s Red Panda Exhibit. Both Red Panda Network and the Greater Sacramento chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers (Greater Sac AAZK) hosted booths at the event, and it was really fun to interact with the families who stopped by to ask questions and learn more about the red panda and its habitat. While I have been studying the red panda for about a year now, this was the first time I actually laid eyes one, and the first thing I

Amanda Mayberry presenting our CEO, Brian Williams with a $225.00 donation

noticed was how slowly they move, even though I had read about this characteristic many times. It might surprise you too, since the red panda looks a lot like a raccoon, and raccoons are fairly quick-moving. The word “sloth” kept popping into my head as I watched them crawling through the branches of their new exhibit.

At the end of the day, Amanda Mayberry, a Sacramento Zoo carnivores keeper, offered to take us on a “backstage tour” of the zoo and we were lucky enough to spy on some of the most fascinating creatures – including the red panda! Before we left, Amanda presented Brian with a check for $225.00, representing the proceeds from the lucky bamboo sales which AAZK collected at their booth and kindly donated to Red Panda Network education efforts.

I called the Sacramento Zoo today and learned that more than 4300 visitors attended during Pandamonium weekend. That’s great news for the red panda and we hope many of these families will participate in the upcoming International Red Panda Day on September 17!