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Minot zoo to celebrate International Red Panda Day

Submitted Photo A red panda at Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot is shown in this photo from Amanda Cone. Red pandas are endangered. As few as 2,500 remain in the wild, according to the Red Panda Network.

Fred and George are the red panda brothers who live at Minot’s Roosevelt Park Zoo.

The zoo will honor Fred, George and other red pandas on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during International Red Panda Day. Fred and George were added to the zoo in 2015.

Nicole Barnhart, the zoo’s Education, Conservation and Outreach coordinator, said a keeper chat and training will be held.

Zoo visitors also can take part in button making, an annual activity planned during this event. Barnhart said visitors can color a red panda picture and then make it into a button. The button-making activity will be held near the red panda area just east of the Visitors Center.

International Red Panda Day is held the third Saturday of September every year. It is a day to help raise Red Panda awareness, according to the Red Panda Network.

“Red pandas are unique, important and endangered. They are the only species of their kind and are ambassadors for a landscape that supports over 500 million people; nearly 10% of the global human population,” the network reports.

It is estimated there are less than 10,000 and as few as 2,500 red pandas remaining in the wild, according to the network. Many of the red pandas are found in the forests in the Himalayas. The loss of nesting trees and bamboo is causing a decline in the red panda population across much of the range because their forest home is being cleared.

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