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Louisville Zoo gets a dose of “Sunny D”

The Louisville Zoo is “turning red” with the arrival of a new addition: a 1-year-old male red panda named Sundara, though the Zoo is affectionately calling him “Sunny D.” Red pandas have not been at the Louisville Zoo since the 1970s. 

“There are so many fun things to learn about this unique species that we haven’t seen at the Zoo since the early days,” said Louisville Zoo Director Dan Maloney. “While one might think they are in the bear family, they are actually in a taxonomic group that shares common traits with mustelids like raccoons, weasels and skunks. We are very excited to have red pandas back at the Zoo and to be sharing this species with Kentuckiana.”  

About Sundara “Sunny D”

The new resident comes to the Zoo from the Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City, Missouri. He currently weighs in at 8 lbs. Guests can see him in Glacier Run in the former snowy owl exhibit next to the Splash Park.  

About Red Pandas

Red pandas are found in the Himalayan forests in Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar (Burma) and southern China. Red pandas are crepuscular (most active at dusk and dawn), arboreal (tree dwelling) and solitary. They spend most of their day resting to conserve energy. Males can weigh up to 14 lbs.  


Red pandas are listed as endangered and decreasing on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Their major threats include habitat loss and fragmentation, habitat degradation and threats from human interference including hunting and illegal pet trade.

The Zoo is open daily, year-round. The current hours are 10 a.m. ─ 5 p.m. (stay until 6 p.m.) through September 17. The Zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

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