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Aquariums & Zoos

4/21/2007
Rocco the Red Panda Arrives at the Jackson Zoo

Rocco is an Instant Hit

at Mississippi's Jackson Zoo

Photo of Rocco the Red Panda.

Rocco prepares for a tasty meal at the Jackson Zoo.*

Rocco, a three-year-old cuddly Red Panda, is the latest star at the Jackson Zoo, 2918 West Capitol St., Jackson, MS. After arriving recently from the Lincoln Children’s Zoo of Nebraska, Rocca is now happily sharing an exhibit with a female Red Panda named Dana.

“We are so pleased to have Rocco as part of our Zoo family,” said Zoo Director Beth Poff. “Red Pandas are such beautiful animals and remain among visitors’ favorites.”

Red Pandas are endangered in their natural habitats by habitat loss and poaching. In the wild, they live in the mountainous regions of China.

Red Panda Facts

People have boots to ward off cold and wet weather? What about Red Pandas? Rocco and his fellow pandas have "fully furred" feet to survive in their cold homeland. They can weigh up to 11 pounds. And wow, those tails are 11 to 19 inches long.

Red pandas favor remote, high altitude bamboo forests. The zoo says the animals are excellent tree climbers and are most active at dawn and dusk.

The furry animals conserve energy in extremely cold weather by curling up into a ball. In hot weather, they stretch their bodies along branches and dangle their feet over the sides.

What do they like to eat? Jackson Zoo feeds the pandas a low-energy diet of bamboo shoots and leaves, grasses, roots, fruits and acorns. In the wild, Red Pandas also may eat insects, eggs, young birds and small rodents.

Another photo of Rocco goes here.

Rocco jumps up on his hind legs to reach a branch.*

The Jackson Zoo cooperates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Red Pandas and 22 other species. The SSP is a cooperative breeding and conservation program administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA members agree to manage and exchange animals in the best interests of the species.

Wilderness Mississippi

If you go to the Jackson Zoo, check out the new four-acre Wilderness Mississippi area. Last year the zoo also renovated the orangutan exhibit and unveiled a new entryway off Capitol Street.

Construction of a new, state-of-the-art Mississippi Discovery Center will begin this year. In addition, the zoo plans improvements to its elephant, tiger and leopard exhibits.

The Jackson Zoo is open daily (except Christmas and New Years Day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for those 13 and older, $3 for kids 2 to 12, $5.40 for those 65 and older, and free for children under 2. Parking is $2.

More Zoo Information

Contact the Jackson Zoo at 601-352-2581 or visit www.jacksonzoo.org.

*Photos are owned, copyrighted and used with permission of the Jackson Zoo. All rights reserved. Please do not link to or copy these photos.


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