DULUTH— The first Red Panda to reside at the Lake Superior Zoo, and the only one currently residing in the state of Minnesota, arrived in Duluth on the evening of April 8.
Zoozee, an 11-month-old female red panda, is currently housed in the Lake Superior Zoo’s Willard Munger Animal Care Center finishing out her quarantine and adjustment period. Zoozee was born at the Kansas City Zoo.
The Lake Superior Zoo began the process of bringing this new species to Duluth a year ago. The decision was made to move forward with red pandas to the Zoo in spring of 2022, inspired by their resilience in our winter climate.
Red pandas are native to high-altitude, temperate forests with bamboo understories in the Himalayas and other high mountains. They are carnivores, but 95% of their diet is made up of bamboo. They have a soft dense woolly undercoat with long guard hairs.
Their long bushy tails help them maintain balance when climbing and protect them from harsh cold and winds. They are built to live in a climate similar to our winters, making them a perfect species that Zoo guests can visit and enjoy year-round.