Red Panda relocates to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will be the temporary home for Rochan, a 16-month-old male Red panda. Rochan’s home exhibit at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Mass., is undergoing renovations that require him to relocate for a limited time. He is expected to reside at Connecticut’s only zoo at least through Spring 2016 and guests will find him near the exit of the South American Rainforest Exhibit.
“We couldn’t be happier to host Rochan while his digs are being upgraded,” explained Gregg Dancho, director, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. “Like with any home renovation, we don’t have a set timeframe that he’ll be with us so we’re encouraging people to come see him sooner than later. You don’t miss this opportunity!”
Hailing from the Himalayas and the mountain ranges of southwest China, Red pandas resemble raccoons and prefer colder climates. They are solitary animals and are nocturnal by nature. As an adult, Rochan, which means “bright” in India, is expected to weigh 10-12 lbs. Like their larger and better-known black and white cousins, Red pandas primarily eat bamboo but will occasionally eat fruits, berries, young leaves, and certain tree bark.
Red pandas are vulnerable in the wild, with fewer than 10,000 adult Red pandas in existence. As a result, they are a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Program (SSP), which managed specific, typically threatened or endangered species populations.
While visiting Rochan, guests may also enjoy the seasonal events happening at the zoo this month, including:
Scarecrows on Parade, through Oct. 31. Check out our scarecrow competition and vote for your favorites. Free with admission to the Zoo.
Howl-O-Ween, Oct. 23, 24, 30, 31, Fridays, 6:30-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 6:30-10 p.m. Features a Haunted Hayride, Farmer Beardsley’s Farmstead, and the Ghastly Greenhouse. For those more timid, enjoy magic shows, face painting, fortunetellers, dancers, and more. Tickets also include free face painting, and candy. Admission is $12 per person in advance and for Zoo members; $15 per person at the gate. Event recommended for children ages 6-15, however, some of the “scarier” activities of the evening may be better suited for children ages 8+. To purchase advance tickets, visit or call Amanda Bolanos at 203-394-6574.
Boo at the Zoo, Oct. 25, noon-3 p.m.
This spooktacular afternoon includes harvest hayrides and many other seasonal enjoyments. Plus we will announce the winners of our Scarecrow competition. If you’re under 12, in costume, and are accompanied by a paying adult, you get in to the Zoo for free.
Harvest Hay Rides, Oct. 24, 25, 31, 1-3 p.m. Every weekend in October as well as school holidays. Rides begin at the W.O.L.F. Cabin and are $2 each.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is open daily from 9-4. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $14. Children (ages 3-11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $11, and children under 3 are free. Zoo members also are admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge.