Santa Barbara

A Red Panda Will Soon Move Into His New Santa Barbara Zoo Habitat

The endangered animal is living behind the scenes as his leafy new digs are prepared.

Santa Barbara Zoo

What to Know

  • The Santa Barbara Zoo revealed that an endangered red panda is currently living behind the scenes while his permanent habitat is readied
  • Visitors will be able to see the adorable animal later in 2023
  • The zoo revealed that "... there is a possibility we will add another to the Zoo family in the future" in an April 11 social media post.

ANIMALS ARE ADORABLE, without a doubt, but there are some critters that seem to fully capture the public's fancy, enchanting the online realm while appearing in memes, tribute videos, and antic-filled gifs. Cats have certainly been the long-reigning royalty in this regard, but the red panda is also beloved, a furry favorite that humans love to obsess over. "Turning Red," the 2022 animated feature from Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by the Walt Disney Company, gave this sweet superstar the well-deserved spotlight, and finding out there are numerous organizations diligently working to protect the endangered animal warms the heart. Santa Barbara Zoo is one of those conservation-focused places, so the announcement that a new resident, a male red panda, would soon make his debut felt oh-so-fitting.

HELLO THERE, CUTIE: The red panda made the journey to the West Coast from New York, where he had been residing at the Trevor Zoo at Millbrook School. The public can't admire him quite yet, however, as his permanent habitat is being readied. Keepers are caring for the bushy-tailed beastie behind the scenes, and looking into the possibility that he may one day have a companion to share his habitat. An April 11 social media post from the zoo revealed that "... there is a possibility we will add another to the Zoo family in the future." The animals, which are found throughout parts of China, Nepal, and the northern part of Burma, are "not closely related to giant pandas," says the zoo team, but can count raccoons and skunks in their extended family tree. The animal park also shared that there are about 10,000 red pandas remaining in the wild. For more information on this little guy's anticipated first appearance, keep an eye on the Santa Barbara Zoo's social pages.

Pictured: A red panda in the wild

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