The Birmingham Zoo’s new red panda, Kodo, is stealing hearts

red panda
Kodo is a Himalayan Red Panda. (The Birmingham Zoo / Facebook)

The Birmingham Zoo just got a whole lot cuter. Meet its newest addition, Kodo—a Himalayan red panda. Read on for the adorable scoop.

Meet Kodo

red panda
The most boopable snoot ever! (The Birmingham Zoo / Facebook)

Kodo is a two-year-old, female Himalayan red panda. She arrived at The Birmingham Zoo in June from the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She was welcomed to The Birmingham Zoo as part of their ongoing collaboration with the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP)—a program that is in place to ensure there is a genetically diverse population of species in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums in North America.

“Through the Red Panda SSP, Kodo has been recommended to breed with Gizmo. We are hopeful they will hit it off and will be crossing our fingers for red panda cubs next year.”

Scott Kayser, Zoological Manager, Predators

Since her arrival in Birmingham, Zoo Animal Care Professionals (ACPs) have been taking care of Kodo and allowing her time to acclimate to her new habitat in the Zoo’s Predator building.

Kodo has currently completed her health exam and routine quarantine at the Zoo’s Animal Health Center and will soon meet her new roommate and fellow red panda, Gizmo.

“Kodo has been with us for a short time but has already stolen our hearts. She is very friendly and loves her fruit!”

Victoria Kaml, ACP, Predators

Boost your Himalayan red panda knowledge

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Life goals. (The Birmingham Zoo / Facebook)

Besides being outrageously cute, what else do you know about Himalayan red pandas? Boost your knowledge with these interesting facts:

  • They are an endangered, arboreal species found in high-elevation forests in Nepal, Central China and northern Myanmar.
  • They have long, sharp claws to help them climb.
  • They have red coats to match the moss-covered trees where they live.
  • The soles of their feet are covered with fur to help them grip.
  • They have long tails to help them maintain balance; they are also used as a blanket in cold temperatures. (Awww!)

Don’t be surprised if you see Kodo upside down during your visit to The Birmingham Zoo. Himalayan red pandas are one of few animals that can climb down trees head-first!

“We are proud to continue our strong commitment to the AZA SSP, for the sustainability of red pandas. We are also proud of the work we do for red panda conservation, including our partnership with the Red Panda Network, which works to protect the remaining 2,500 red pandas currently in the wild.”

Chris Pfefferkorn, President and CEO, The Birmingham Zoo

To see Kodo in all her fluffy glory, visit The Birmingham Zoo at 2630 Cahaba Rd Birmingham, Alabama 35223.

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