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Panda Updates – Monday, January 28

If you have visited Idgie the red panda in the last year, you will have noticed we made several improvements to her habitat. Recently, we have made some additions that may not be so obvious. A little background first … red pandas are equipped to handle very cold temperatures. They have a very dense undercoat covering their entire bodies, except their faces, but including the pads on their feet. Their outer fur is also about two inches thick. Their tails serve as a blanket for their faces when it gets really cold! Nevertheless, since Idgie is getting older, and we know she has some arthritis (as is typical with senior individuals of many species), we’ve added some ways for her to stay warm, if she so chooses. She now has a heated mat in the enclosed bamboo hut in her habitat and a heating unit in her behind-the-scenes nest box. We installed these just in time for this recent cold snap. So far, in typical Idgie fashion, she still prefers her hay beds to the heated areas. She does like to do everything in her own time and in her own way. However, we were very excited to see that she slept in her heated box when it dropped down into the 20s!
Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores

(photo by Heather R.)

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