HOUSTON ZOO SAYS BON VOYAGE TO THE WORLD’S CUTEST ANIMAL
Join Us for Toby the Red Panda’s Bon Voyage Party
10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, November 6
(HOUSTON) November 2, 2011 … On March 28, 2009 the Houston Zoo introduced our members and guests to The World’s Cutest Animal – Toby, the red panda. For more than two years, Toby has lived up to his World’s Cutest Animal title and endeared himself to Zoo guests and staff alike. But the time has come for Toby to bid farewell to his adoring fans and return the place of his birth, the Cincinnati Zoo.
Join Toby and his keepers at the Houston Zoo on Sunday, November 6 when we bid a fond farewell to The World’s Cutest Animal with not one but two bon voyage parties at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Toby’s keepers will be on hand for informative and entertaining Meet the Keeper Talks and Toby will celebrate the day with some of his favorite treats. Toby’s bon voyage parties are included in your Zoo admission.
Red pandas are an endangered species and Toby is going to the Cincinnati Zoo after being recommended for breeding by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Houston Zoo’s two remaining red pandas, Take and Keti have also been recommended by the Species Survival Plan for breeding.
About Red Pandas
Over the years, the red panda has undergone an identity crisis of sorts, existing in the shadow of the better known giant panda. Red pandas are exquisite and fascinating mammals with their own unique set of behaviors and characteristics. Best known for their striking red coats and white to reddish-brown facial mask, red pandas are superb climbers. When not searching for food on the ground, red pandas will spend most of their time in the trees.
Red pandas live only in temperate forests in the Himalayan foothills from western Nepal through northern Burma (Myanmar) and in the mountains of southwestern China at altitudes between 5,000 and 13,000 feet. Temperatures remain fairly cool and constant in their native habitat, supporting the mix of forests trees and bamboo on which red pandas depend. Red pandas live solitary lives, only coming together to reproduce during the very brief breeding season.
The red panda’s diet is very unusual among mammals. Only the red panda, giant panda, two types of rodents, and one species of lemur from Madagascar can survive on a strict bamboo diet. The red panda’s adaptation to a bamboo diet has helped shape their behavior, spending up to half the day in search of tender new bamboo leaves.
About the Houston Zoo
Founded in 1922, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving more than 1.8 million guests annually. Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 6,000 exotic animals representing more than 800 species. Visitors can experience the wonders of Africa at The African Forest, the new 6.5 acre, $40 million addition featuring chimps, rhinos, and giraffes. Travel to Africa. No Passport Required.
The Houston Zoo is located at 6200 Hermann Park Drive in beautiful Hermann Park. The Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Central Standard Time (last admission at 5 p.m.) and from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. during Central Daylight Time (last admission at 6 p.m.). The Zoo is closed Christmas Day. Regular admission is $12 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $8 for children ages 2-11 and FREE for children under 2. Visit the courtesy booth at your neighborhood Fiesta Mart and purchase an adult Zoo admission for $10 and a child Zoo admission for $7. Zoo memberships start at only $55. For information on all the great benefits of becoming a Zoo member call (713) 533-6713 or visit our Web site at www.houstonzoo.org.
Ride METRORail to the Houston Zoo from the Fannin South Park and Ride lot. With frequent service, METRORail is a convenient answer to traffic congestion in the Texas Medical Center/Hermann Park/Museum District corridor. For METRORail information, visit www.ridemetro.org.
Operated by the not-for-profit Houston Zoo, Inc., the Houston Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species, the provision of engaging educational opportunities and the creation of stimulating exhibits that broaden the experiences of our guests and encourage their curiosity.
The Houston Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit www.aza.org.
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