Red Panda Habitat in the Main Valley

The Zoo plans to create a new habitat for red pandas in the Main Valley that will be designed for a breeding pair. As a new mammal in the Zoo’s collection, the red pandas will be an engaging and welcome addition. In the wild, red pandas live in the Eastern Himalayas of Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, and China. They are unique in that they are their own taxonomic group known as Ailuridae – they are not genetically part of either the bear or panda family. In fact, they are the original panda – named “panda” fifty years before the giant panda.

The red pandas will be located in the Main Valley near the former snowy owl habitat. The new red panda habitat will help to highlight conservation efforts to establish a “bio-bridge” connecting forested highlands between Nepal and India through reforestation efforts. This makes the red panda a flagship species that provides conservation of entire habitats when they are protected.

In conjunction with the construction of the red panda habitat, the resident snowy owl and bald eagle will be relocated to a new habitat in the Maryland Wilderness, an environment better suited for the birds. Our goal is to have the red panda habitat open to guests in the summer of 2025.

Keep an eye on this page for further updates!