|September 17, 2013 -
The votes have been
counted, and after a spirited round of balloting
Knoxville Zoo's 15-week-old panda cubs have
officially been christened Tabei and Tenzing.
The names Tabei and Tenzing are tributes to
some of the first pioneers to reach the summit of
Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world
and part of the red pandas' native range. Junko
Tabei was the first woman to summit the
mountain in 1975 and Tenzing Norgay was the
Sherpa guide who accompanied Sir Edmund
Hillary on the first ascent to the peak in 1953.
The names were chosen over second-place
finishers Summitt and Neyland from four final pairs of nominations that were put to a public vote. The
donations of $1 per vote raised more than $1,000 to support the zoo's red panda conservation program,
which is the top breeding program in the world for this endangered species native to the Himalayan
foothills. Siblings Tabei and Tenzing are the 105th and 106th red pandas to be born in Knoxville.
Catch a glimpse of the cubs on the Panda Cam at www.knoxnews.com/zoo/redpandas.
Knoxville Zoo is Knoxville's largest year-round attraction. Located off exit 392 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. The he zoo is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and
Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo
closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or