Cheryl Dinolfo, county executive, recently joined members of the Monroe County Parks Department, Seneca Park Zoo and the public in cutting the ribbon on the new Cold Asia Exhibit.
The new exhibit features the arrival of the zoo’s newest members, two red pandas named Blaze and Starlight. It also features a new home for the existing snow leopards, Kaba and Tamila.
“For decades, families from across our region have enjoyed time together at the Seneca Park Zoo while learning about conservation,” Dinolfo said. “The new Cold Asia Exhibit is now home to our newest members of the Seneca Park Zoo family, two red pandas named Blaze and Starlight, as well as our resident snow leopards, Kaba and Tamila. This investment in our zoo is an investment in our community and local economy. I encourage all families and residents to stop by the new exhibit and help welcome our newest friends of the Seneca Park Zoo.”
For over 100 years, Seneca Park Zoo has provided the community with opportunities to learn about wildlife and the importance of conservation. Its mission and vision is to inspire the community to connect, care for and conserve wildlife while serving as a leader in education and conservation for species survival. The zoo’s master plan seeks to implement the necessary elements in order to provide the inhabitants of the zoo with natural exhibits that closely relate to their natural habitat.
Construction of the Cold Asia Exhibit, the first project with Phase 1 of the master plan, provides a closely related habitat for the red pandas and snow leopards, native to the eastern Himalayan and southwest China regions. A naturalistic habitat with distinctive elevation allows them to climb and explore on different terrain the way they would in their natural range. Other design features include a window looking into the snow leopard exhibit and an open viewing point for the red pandas.
Efforts to conserve and protect these two species are important to Monroe County and Seneca Park Zoo. With both species classified as endangered and vulnerable in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the zoo, in partnership with the Red Panda Network and Snow Leopard Trust, is working within the communities where these animals live to help conserve the species.