Zoo Boise Announces the Arrival of Two Red Pandas and the Birth of Patagonian Cavy


Zoo Boise is happy to announce the arrival of three new animals to the zoo.

Two red pandas and a Patagonian cavy baby can now be seen at the zoo. The male and female pandas, named Dolly and Winston, have been matched as part of the Red Panda Species Survival Program (SSP). The SSP is one of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s many conservation programs. Its primary role is to serve as a breeding program for selected endangered or threatened species – a special animal dating service, if you will. The goal is to maintain a healthy and genetically diverse population for these animals in order to increase their numbers and be able to reintroduce certain zoo-bred animals into their natural habitats if necessary. Winston and Dolly are 11 months old, adulthood for red pandas. They will be housed near the aviaries and Conservation Cruise at the zoo, separate from the zoo’s other red panda, Grace. By keeping them separate, Zoo Boise hopes that Winston and Dolly will successfully breed.


The red pandas come to Zoo Boise from the Knoxville Zoo. Dolly is named after Dolly Parton. Both red pandas were featured on the Mozilla Firefox’s online red panda camera in 2011. Zoo Boise also recently welcomed a Patagonian cavy baby. The female cavy was born on April 17 to parents Joanie and Chachi. Joanie, the mother, had a difficult delivery and so the baby has been hand-raised by zoo staff. The cavy has done well, doubling in weight since her birth and has recently started eating solids. During the day, the baby is housed in a den at the Patagonian cavy exhibit and can see and interact with her parents on exhibit through mesh.  As she continues to grow, zoo staff will work to re-introduce the baby to her parents. Photos and updates will be available on Zoo Boise’s Facebook page as the baby continues to make progress.


This weekend is a great time to visit the new red pandas and Patagonian cavy at Zoo Boise. Friday and Saturday night, Zoo Boise is hosting sneak peek tours of the renovated sloth bear exhibit, which reopens on June 1. Tours are $15 per person. On Sunday, May 13, Zoo Boise will offer special Mother’s Day pricing, Zookeeper talks and a Mother’s Day brunch. More information about all of these events may be found at

Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education and science. Located in Julia Davis Park, Zoo Boise is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily year round. For more information, see or call 384-4260.

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