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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
Zoo's Three Red Panda Cubs to Make Public Debut
Knoxville Zoo
August 30, 2011 - Knoxville Zoo's three red panda cubs are all set to make their adorable debut just in time for Labor Day weekend. Knoxville Zoo ranks as one of the top two zoos in the world for the breeding of endangered red pandas, and the new arrivals bring the total number of red panda cubs born in Knoxville to 102.

Three Red Pandas at the ZooTwo female cubs were born on June 6, 2011, to mother Kumari and father Madan. On June 20, 2011, male and female cubs were born to mother Akkali and father Chewbacca, although the female cub did not survive. The cubs are being handreared in the zoo clinic by keepers after concerns arose when staff noticed Kumari was not attentive to one of the cubs, and Akkali was observed handling her cubs too vigorously. At 12 and 10 weeks of age, the cubs are healthy, and zoo staff hopes they will be able to go on view to the public in time for the weekend in The Boyd Family Red Panda Village.

Zoo staff christened the male cub Winston and the female cubs Bernadette, in honor of Bern Tryon, the zoo's long-time director of herpetology who passed away in May, and Dolly, in honor of Sevier County native and country music legend Dolly Parton. When told that she had a red panda namesake, Ms. Parton responded with gracious enthusiasm. "I am so excited to have my own 'Little Dolly' at the Knoxville Zoo," said Ms. Parton. "It is a great honor to be immortalized by having the 100th panda born at the zoo named after me. It's a lot cuter than the sheep named "Dolly."

Red pandas are endangered primarily due to destruction of their native habitat, which extends from western Nepal to northern Myanmar. The zoo's newest red panda additions are very important genetically to the red panda population.

Knoxville ZooKnoxville Zoo is Knoxville's largest year-round attraction. Located off exit 392A from Interstate 40, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Day. Knoxville Zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Currently, the zoo is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Nextday admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit www.knoxvillezoo.org.
For Immediate Release
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