Calgary, AB – Leading up to Halloween it was time to treat some of the zoo’s animal residents with special enrichment and to introduce the newest member of the Eurasia section.
“Enrichment is a crucial component of the way we care for our animals, says Matt Korhonen, Curator, Calgary Zoo. “Every single day, our Animal Care and Veterinary staff provide our animals with items that challenge and motivate them, as well as a variety of foods placed in their habitats in intriguing ways. Combining enrichment with habitats that stimulate natural behaviours, is just one way that we ensure the highest standards of animal welfare.”
On Monday, October 30, 2017, pumpkin and watermelon enrichment items were provided to the lemurs, red pandas and hippos. This also marked the first appearance of the zoo’s female red panda cub, Nisha (meaning night in Sanskrit). Born June 13, 2017, she made her debut in the Eurasian section, having spent several months bonding with mom, Sakura.
Red Pandas are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) which helps to maintain genetic diversity in captive populations and safeguards against extinction. They are listed as endangered on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List and are seeing their wild population numbers decline due to habitat loss and degradation.
Source: Calgary Zoo