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New zoo exhibit brings you face-to-face with red pandas

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park will soon allow customers to meet their red pandas in what they’re calling red panda wild encounters.

Zoo goers will be able to go right into the animal’s enclosure. No walls or cages will separate the animals from the people.

Zoo staff say stay quiet and move slowly as to not scare the animals.

As a part of the encounter, people can feed the red pandas, watch them paint, and sometimes touch them.

Lead Zookeeper Courtnie Yale explains, “We do it, but case by case basis, depends on how the pandas are reacting to the people, they’ll react differently to different people.”

Picking up and cuddling the pandas will not be allowed.

Staff say the encounters do not normally stress out the pandas.

They advise staying away from clunky jewelry and perfume as it can discourage the animals from coming up close.

The experience costs $350 for three people. The zoo says the money will go to good use.

“All the proceeds are going to go to conservation, go toward the pandas, toward the zoo.”

For more information, click here.

Julia Gorman

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