What are our red pandas’ personalities like?
Kordell: Scarlet, our 2-year-old female, is somewhat timid. When we paired her with our 1-year-old male, Taizong, she held her ground. She can be a little anxious sometimes. It has been interesting and fun to see their reactions to one another—and to us! Scarlet tends to be standoffish with me. But my favorite moments are when she approaches me.
Ganame: Scarlet is shy and gentle. She doesn’t interact with us right away, or chooses not to engage. She likes to stay up high on the perching logs in her habitat.
Kordell: Xena, our 3-year-old female, is tiny. But this little panda’s big, bold name suits her—she is feisty and outgoing!
Ganame: She is fearless—a lot like “Xena, Warrior Princess.” She does what she wants.
Ganame: Rocket, our 3-year-old male, was very friendly and gregarious before Xena arrived. Now, he is a bit more shy around her.
Kordell: Taizong is very sweet. He is also pretty outgoing, and very food motivated.
Ganame: He’s friendly, excited and hungry all the time.
Red panda Taizong forages for some tasty morsels of fruit inside a ball pit.
What is their favorite enrichment?
Ganame: Any enrichment item that has food in it is their favorite!
Kordell: Our red pandas eat bamboo, along with leafeater biscuits and various fruit treats like grapes, apples, pears and bananas. They all enjoy grapes, but they will also eat kiwi, which is unusual for red pandas! Interestingly, Scarlet never showed interest in it until Taizong came along. Now, she’ll eat it right away!
When we set up their enclosures, we put their regular diet items in different places to encourage them to explore, forage and play. With some enrichment toys, they have to spin, shake or roll them to get the food out. These puzzle feeders give the red pandas an opportunity to exercise their natural abilities and cognitive skills. Most have figured out how to get the food out of the feeders; Xena is still learning.
Scarlet seems to enjoy when we hide her food in a ball pit. She digs around and spills the balls everywhere. Taizong and Rocket both seem to enjoy Kong toys and cardboard boxes best. Rocket, especially, likes to sneak inside the boxes without opening them up all the way.
Ganame: When toys don’t have food, they are less interested.