Red Pandas Return To Tulsa Zoo

Two of the Tulsa Zoo's cutest residents are back on exhibit. That's right! Red pandas, Addison and Mei Mei, have returned.

Wednesday, November 29th 2023, 4:28 pm

By: News On 6


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A pair of the Tulsa Zoo's cutest and most popular animals are back on exhibit.

Red pandas, Addison and Mei Mei, are described as being cute, fluffy, and curious. Just like they appear, these animals are not dangerous.

"Some animals at the zoo we cannot go in the enclosure with for safety reasons," said zookeeper Mo O'Leary. "With the red pandas, we are allowed to go in with them, so that is a perk because we are very excited when we get to come take care of them."

She said the key to Addison and Mei Mei's heart is food. "Anytime we have food in our hands they are excited to come over to us for one reason and that is to get the food," O'Leary added.

The red pandas are fed three times a day. The three main components of their diet are chow, fruit, and bamboo.

O'Leary said, "We have different devices that we utilize for enrichment, so we put food inside there and they will manipulate it around to get the food to fall out which prolongs their foraging time for the day and then just gives them something new to stimulate them."

For the past several months, Addison and Mei Mei have been out of zoogoers sights. O'Leary said daily they got asked where the red pandas were.

"The pandas are so popular at the zoo," she continued saying, "Throughout the entire summer we have people wondering where they are."

Red pandas do best in colder temperatures which is why Addison and Mei Mei were moved to a climate-controlled building over the summer. "Their fur is very dense; they have really long guard hairs on the outside and dense fur on the underside to keep them warm, they have hair on their feet to help keep them warm," O'Leary said.

With a chill in the air, Addison and Mei Mei are now back "home" on exhibit in the Lost Kingdom. O'Leary said, "The pandas are a lot more active. This is their time of year, so if you want to see the pandas now is the time."

It is also time for Breakfast with Santa at the Tulsa Zoo. Guests can enjoy a hot breakfast, take part in arts and crafts, and meet Santa Claus. The dates are Saturday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 9th at 9 a.m. Purchase tickets at TulsaZoo.org

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