Winter at the Indianapolis Zoo is the perfect time for Zoo guests to experience our arctic and cold weather animals enjoying their natural climate. Native to the mountain forests of the eastern Himalayas, red pandas are well suited for Indiana winters. They use their long fluffy tails to wrap around themselves, almost like a blanket, and even have fur on the pads of their feet to help keep warm. During this time of year, our red pandas, Nyima and Sampson can often be seen climbing around the bare tree branches or nibbling on bamboo and fresh fruit.
Like all our animals, the red pandas at the Indianapolis Zoo are ambassadors for their counterparts in the wild. Red pandas play a crucial role in their natural environment. Red pandas are known as an indicator species, meaning if you see a red panda in the wild, typically the ecosystem they are in is healthy and thriving. This helps conservationists prioritize which habitats are doing well and which need further protections. Unfortunately, red pandas are an endangered species. Poaching, competition from livestock and deforestation for human development and agriculture have severely impacted red panda populations throughout their territory. Through the Animal Amigo program, you support the care of our red pandas at the Zoo and support the Indianapolis Zoo’s global conservation efforts.
For a donation of $50 or more, you’ll receive an Animal Amigo package, which includes one red panda plush, photo, certificate, trading card and recognition on the Animal Amigo donor board.*
*Animal Amigo donor board is located inside the Oceans building and updated each March with the previous year’s donors.
Animal Amigo donations make great gifts! You can purchase one as an individual or as a group. However, please note that only one of each item will be enclosed per Animal Amigos packet.