Animal encounters: A Paradise for Red Panda fans

red panda walking on tree trunk in zoo
Photo by Aloïs Moubax on Pexels.com

Do you want to feed a Red Panda? Maybe hold one in your arms or at least want to pet one? Of course, Red Pandas aren’t pets, and they aren’t some “cuddly toys”. But some zoos offer close encounters with them — with some important rules in mind.

  • Updated 27 September, 2021

Note: All information is without warranty!

COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM, OHIO/USA

At Columbus Zoo’s Red Panda Experience, visitors spend 30 minutes with the Red Pandas. Cost: $99/person. Minimum age: 10 years. People under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Note: To protect both staff and animals, a mask must be worn during the animal encounter — regardless of vaccination status.

PARADISE PARK in Hayle, England

The Paradise Park in Hayle offers a Red Panda Experience for £150. This price includes a donation to the Red Panda Network. For this 30 minutes long experience you have to be over the age of 10 years, children between 10 and 15 years must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

LONGLEAT SAFARI PARK near Warminster, England

A so-called Red Panda VIP Experience gets you closer to the Red Pandas of Longleat Safari Park near the city of Warminster. The encounter takes place at the Monkey Temple and with the VIP voucher, you also get a One Day Ticket for the zoo. Children between 8 and 15 must be accompanied by an adult. The Red Panda VIP Experience is currently sold out. We will post an update when it is available again!

BRISTOL ZOO, England

The Bristol Zoo Gardens in South West England provide regular Meet & Greets with Red Pandas on every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 and on every Thursday at 10:00. There is a maximum of two visitors allowed, and the Meet & Greet is only available for all over the age of 6. Children between 10 and 15 years must be accompanied by an adult. Prices are £65 for one person or £95 for two people (inc. VAT).

Shepreth Wildlife Park, England

At Shepreth Wildlife Park, Red Pandas can be visited and fed daily from 11. 30am — 12pm. Visitors must be over 16 years of age. £5 of the entrance fee goes to the Shepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity. At the end, you will get a certificate of participation. Prices: £100 for one person and £50 each per adult (max. two persons).

TIERPARK GÖRLITZ in Görlitz, Germany

At Tierpark Görlitz in Germany, animal encounters with the zoo’s Red Pandas are offered in the period from October 1 to April 30. These are only available during feeding times. One to a maximum of two people can participate in the animal encounter (minimum age 8). Duration: approximately 30 minutes. Tickets cost €99 per person plus admission and are available online.

red panda close encounter jem yoshioka

Wellington Zoo offers a daily Red Panda Close Encounter. Nom nom nom. Photo: Wellington Zoo Red Panda Close Encounter by Jem Yoshioka/flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
CALGARY ZOO, Canada

There was a Red Panda Behind the Scenes program at Calgary Zoo in Canada, but due to the “redesign of the public and private animal experiences” it is currently not available. Another possibility to get closer to the Red Pandas is the Zookeeper for a Day-program with the Eurasia option. This is available only on some special dates for max. 2 people with the age of 14+ and includes assisting the zookeepers with duties for Red Pandas but also for snow leopards and tigers. Prices: Full day (7 a.m. — 3 p.m.) $375 per person, half day (7 a.m. — 11 a.m.) $275 per person.

WELLINGTON ZOO, New Zealand

Every day is Red Panda day at Wellington Zoo in New Zealand. The daily Red Panda Close Encounter starts at 11:30 am and costs $99 per person – including free zoo entry. It is available for 2 to 4 people and lasts 30 minutes. 10% of the proceeds goes to the Wellington Zoo Conservation Funds. Children between 6 and 14 years will need to be accompanied by a paying and participating adult.

AUSTRALIA ZOO in Beerwah, Australia

At Australia Zoo you can also enjoy a daily Red Panda encounter. They run from 8:30-8:50 am and cost $79.00 per person (does not include admission). Minimum age is 6 years, children aged 6 to 14 must be accompanied by a paying, participating adult. A maximum of 4 participants can join the Red Panda encounter.

SYMBIO WILDLIFE PARK in Helensburgh, Australia

At the Red Panda experience, you will meet Symbio Wildlife Park’s „happiest residents“ (according to the zoo’s website). Together with the keeper, you can feed and pat the Red Pandas. The zoo also offers a photo package in which the keeper captures the whole experience. The Red Panda experience is daily available at 9.30 am, minimum age is 8 years and up to 2 people can join the encounter. Price: $95.00 per person (plus admission fee).


Red Pandazine will update this list regularly. Do you know any zoos where you can meet Red Pandas? Then let us know!

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