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Summer Animal Announcements from the Charles Paddock Zoo!

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27 June 2024

The City of Atascadero and the Charles Paddock Zoo (CPZ) are delighted to share a couple new animal highlights going on at the Zoo in time for summer and the 4th of July holiday!  A new young Red Panda, Kesari, has joined us from the Sacramento Zoo and we are happy to make a Mongoose Lemur baby gender announcement, “It’s a Boy!” welcome baby Ravi!

Image of Kesari, a new baby red panda at the Charles Paddock Zoo.

Our newest Himalayan Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens), Kesari, came to us from the Sacramento Zoo through the Association of Zoo’s & Aquariums Species Survival Plan. She just celebrated her 1st Birthday on June 15th! In the wild red panda’s lifespans are 8-10 years, but in captivity they can live for 15 years or more. There are two subspecies of Red Pandas, the Himalayan Red Panda, A. Fulgens, here at CPZ and the Chinese Red Panda, A. Styani. Red Pandas were discovered about 50 years before the black and white pandas. In the wild they live in colder, high elevation climates and do not adapt very well in the summer heat. At this time of year, they spend most of their day curled up in their air-conditioned den, so it’s best to catch them in the morning when it’s still cool! Panda means “bamboo” and with their specialized diet and migration patterns, their habitat has faced challenges with deforestation, urbanization and poaching and they are now classified as Endangered.

Image of Kesari, a new baby red panda at the Charles Paddock Zoo.

With approximately 2,500 Red Pandas remaining in the wild, Kesari will play an important part in conservation here at the Zoo. Her breeding companion will be Oolong, our male Red Panda and hopefully, she will have many cubs in the years to come! To ensure the well-being of both Kesari and Oolong, a combination of one or both might be on exhibit until they both can be on exhibit together, however, Tabie, the female Red Panda will have access to the exhibit!

Image of Ravi, a new baby Mongoose Lemur at the Charles Paddock Zoo.

It’s a Boy!  Our baby mongoose lemur was born on April 7th and had his first visit to the vet this week. The Zoo’s Veterinarian, Dr. Robinson. gave him a physical exam and confirmed the keepers’ suspicions that this little one was a boy. Ravi was named by his keeper, and he is now just over 10 weeks old. He has entered the toddler phase, spending less time clinging to mom, and more time practicing his running and leaping skills. He is learning all about solid food and is a big fan of corn, grapes, and bananas! Mom and Dad are being very patient with Ravi climbing all over them and trying to sample everything they eat!

The Zoo offers plenty to see and do this summer with new animals in addition to over 200 animal species to enjoy! The Charles Paddock Zoo is SLO County’s ONLY Zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Open Daily and located at Atascadero Lake Park on Hwy 41/Morro Road, one mile west of Hwy 101.

For information, go to or call the Zoo at (805) 461-5080.