Year in Review

Throughout the fall of 2018, we spread the word about raising up red pandas during Luminous Nights, our Giving Tuesday campaign and on our social media platforms.

During Luminous Nights, a portion of proceeds from beer sales at the new Beastro went toward our breeding facility fundraising. In the six weeks of the event we raised over $500. We also offered nightly keeper chats in front of the red panda exhibit to inform the public about our plans and answer any questions about our cute red-heads.

Next, we focused our annual Giving Tuesday fundraiser around the new breeding facility. In addition to videos and informational posts on our social media platforms, we also hosted two live feeds with our three resident red pandas, their keeper, Koral Stoddard and our curator of mammals, Michael Frushour. Our one-day campaign raised more than $2200.

We thank you for your support of this unique fundraising effort. We can’t wait to share all phases of this new facility that will hopefully result in baby red pandas with you in 2019 and beyond!

Picking Up Pandas
By Kim Haddix
It is well known around the Zoo that all you have to say is “Kim, do you want to go…” and the rest of the sentence doesn’t matter, the answer is yes, please! Last week was no different. “Kim, do you want to drive down to pick up two red pandas from the Nashville Zoo?” “Yes, please!” On Wednesday, Sept. 19 Zoo photographer, Corey Wyckoff, keeper Koral Stoddard and curator of mammals, Michael Frushour and I set off in two cars on the 7 hour drive from Toledo to Nashville. During our drive, Corey and I researched the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere and found out it is located on an old plantation and the most popular feature is their kangaroo petting area. We arrived first and were greeted with incredible southern hospitality and drawls. The staff told us to have a look around while we waited and handed us a map. We made a beeline for the kangaroo area and were beyond delighted to be in the presence of these amazing creatures. Most were dug into small holes for naps, while one slept on a raised dog-like hammock bed and another slept in a patch of shade on the sidewalk. We watched some other visitors approach the one in the shade, pet her and take their pictures with her. We quickly followed suit and were amazed by how soft she was and her cuter-than-cute pork chop sideburns. As enthralled as we were, we knew there was more to see though. The next exhibit that caught our attention was the gibbon island where the siamangs and gibbons were calling what sounded like the Hallelujah chorus! Just about this time my phone rang and brought us back to reality. Koral and Michael had arrived.

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