Brooklyn, N.Y. - Because of their striking appearance, red panda’s Qin, a male, and Mei Lin, a female, are hard to miss. Visitors to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Prospect Park Zoo can see their vibrant red coats and pale white faces on the zoo’s Discovery Trail. Both pandas spend their time climbing trees and exploring their surroundings. “From January through March visitors can see Qin and Mei Lin playfully court each other as their mating season is at its peak,” says WCS Prospect Park Zoo’s Facilities Director Denise McClean.

Red pandas are often called "fire foxes" because of the color of their coats. They will use their tails, which are almost as long as their bodies, to keep warm during the chilly months.

Red pandas have an enlarged wrist bone located on each front paw. This sixth digit or “thumb” is useful for feeding as it allows the pandas to grasp and hold bamboo tightly.

This species is found in the mountainous forests of China, Nepal and Tibet. Although it is endangered due to habitat loss, WCS is working in China to combat this and other threats by developing a substantial, widespread conservation network.

Photo: J.L. Maher © WCS


Fran Hackett -,  718-265-3428

Wildlife Conservation Society Prospect Park Zoo – Open every day of the year. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for seniors 65 and older, $3 for kids 3-12, free for children under 3. Zoo hours are 10am to 5pm weekdays, and 10am – 5:30pm weekends, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through April. The Prospect Park Zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. For further information, call 718-399-7339 or visit