(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Erie Zoo has added new animals to its collection.
The additions include a Père David’s deer, a pair of red pandas, and baby mole rats.
The new Père David’s deer is named Lisa. She was brought in as a companion for the Zoo’s current Père David’s deer, Tai Yang. The addition was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The deer are housed with mouflor sheep and can be seen by riding the Safariland Express Train. That train is closed for the season but will open again in May 2023.
Père David’s deer were determined to be extinct from their natural environment along China’s Yangtze River basin in the 1900s. According to an announcement from Erie Zoo, zoos throughout the world have been “the leading factor aiding in keeping this species from facing complete extinction.”
Lukas and Micah are 1-year-old red panda brothers and the newest red pandas at Erie Zoo. They come from Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York. They arrived in October and are on exhibit inside Asia Tower. The former red pandas were moved out of Erie Zoo earlier this year due to breeding recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as part of its Red Panda Species Survival Plan. Red pandas are endangered and the breeding program aims to increase the population.
Meanwhile, the zoo’s naked mole rat colony had two litters of pups. Those can be seen in the Main Building.
Erie Zoo is open daily (except Thanksgiving Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 30. The 2023 season begins on March 1. A grand reopening celebration will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 4.