Heavy weight red panda worries zoo officials

Red panda, file photo
Red panda, file photo

KATHMANDU, Nepal-Due to abnormal weight and lack of physical activity, the only red panda in the Central Zoo, Jawalakhel in Capital Kathmandu is turning overweight, worrying the zoo officials.

The red panda weighed just 2.5 kg when it was brought to zoo six months ago; however, has reached 5 kg now. According to panda experts, considering its height, the red panda should not weigh more than is 4 kg and it needs excessive exercise. Red panda falls in the list of critically endangered species.

The zoo had brought the panda six month ago from the Ramexhhap District Forest Office at Churchure VDC-2. This is second red panda in the zoo. The last one, also a female, died in 1989.

The panda turned so weighty that zoo administration is planning to cut its diet. Considering the humid climate which was still hot for the panda which thrive in the Himalaya, the zoo has kept it in air-conditioned room, prohibiting the visitors to glance over the panda till these days.

The zoo administration is considering to set up a separate house for panda by the end of October, according to veterinary assistant at the zoo  Radhakrishna Gharti adding that female panda did not get the open space to jump and play around. Gharti also expressed confidence that that the panda´s health would definitely improve after she is shifted there.

After the panda is shifted to the new house, visitors would be allowed to see her. In Nepal, pandas are found in Langtang National Park, Annapurna Conservation Area, Sagarmatha National Park, Manaslu Conservation Area, Makalu Barun National Park and Kanchanjunga Conservation Area.

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