published Friday, April 5th, 2013

Just Briefly: Chattanooga Zoo adds red panda

Chattanooga Zoo adds red panda

After a year of being alone in the Himalayan Passage exhibit, Nigalya, a 16-year-old red panda at the Chattanooga Zoo, has a companion.

Wen-Dee, a red panda from the Kansas City Zoo, made the trip to Chattanooga to fill the place of two red pandas that died last winter at the zoo.

"The trip seemed to go fine, and Wen-Dee seems calm," said Darde Long, president and CEO of the zoo.

Wen-Dee is 13, which is geriatric for a red panda. They normally live about eight to 10 years, and rarely past 15 in captivity.

She was recommended for relocation to Chattanooga by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Program because of local expertise in geriatric care.

"It seems like we are becoming the red panda retirement community," Long said. "And the zoo feels prepared to take care of Wen-Dee."

Wen-Dee suffers from both seasonal and psychogenic alopecia. Long said it's nothing serious, comparing it to a bad hair day.

Plans have been made to receive a cub that is less than a year old from the Bronx zoo by the end of this year.


Chattanooga downtown getting cleanup

Individuals, company teams and civic groups will volunteer Saturday to make downtown Chattanooga a healthier and more beautiful area.

The third annual "Clean and Green," a River City Co. program, will start at 8:30 a.m. at Miller Plaza on Market Street, a news release states.

This year's partner is Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise and the sponsor is Volkswagen Chattanooga.

The goal is to recruit 1,000 volunteers, the release stated.

"We have plenty of tasks and need all 1,000 volunteers to complete them," Tiffanie Robinson, director of creative strategies for River City, said in the release.

Since 2011, "Clean and Green" has drawn more than 1,650 volunteers who have collected more than 3,000 bags of trash, removed graffiti from more than 100 buildings and monuments, and cleaned 55 city blocks and various neighborhoods multiple times.

To sign up for "Clean and Green," visit causeway.org/cleanandgreen.

For more information, contact Tiffanie Robinson at trobinson@rivercitycompany.com or 423-265-3700.

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