OKC Zoo's Baby Red Panda Named 'KayDee'

Tuesday, September 25th 2012, 5:54 pm

When the Thunder won the Western Conference Championship, it was a big deal here in Oklahoma City. That night was also a big deal out at the zoo: a new red panda was born.

Since the red panda was born on such a big night they gave her a big name. You can call her KayDee.

9/12/2011 Related Story: The OKC Zoo Welcomes Three Red Panda Cubs

Although she may not be the most popular K.D. in the city, one look at this little face and she will may very well become a close second.

"She was born the night the Thunder won the Western Conference Championship so as a team we thought it was an appropriate name to have something Thunder related and KayDee just seemed to work," said Chrislyn Newton, the zookeeper who works closest with the Red Pandas.

KayDee, a baby girl, was born in June. Keepers waited until now when she was ready to go outside to for her public introduction.

"She should be a lot of fun to watch grow up, she'll come out here and maybe start playing with her mom and interacting with the things we have in the exhibit for her," Newton said.

Now at three months old, KayDee weighs about four pounds and is just starting to eat solid food.

"She's just now trying to figure out the whole bamboo thing by mimicking and watching her mother," Newton explained.

KayDee is the 11th red panda to be born at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The zoo's Red Panda Species survival plan is one of 25 in the Nation. According to zookeepers, there are only about 10,000 red pandas left in the wild.

"There's only isolated pockets of pandas where they would match up in the trees and reproduce and they're not able to do that anymore," Newton said.

Making little KayDee an All -Star in her own right and her birth a slam dunk for the zoo.

If you go out to the zoo you can see KayDee across from the Zoo's Endangered Species Carousel. Zookeepers say the best time to catch her outside playing is during the mornings and evenings.

Plan your visit to the Oklahoma City Zoo!