KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Zoo Knoxville is getting some new residents. Red panda triplets from John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will soon make their way south to their new home.
“We’re still waiting to see what dates they will actually be travelling, but should be soon,” Zoo spokeswoman Tina Rolen said.
The 1-year-old female red pandas named Rose, Ruby and Willow were born June 25, 2020 to Wasabi and Wyatt. The move coincides with the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, which Zoo Knoxville and John Ball Zoo are a part of.
“There comes a time when children leave their childhood home and move on to create a future of their own. Well, that time has come for the red panda cubs at JBZ,” the Grand Rapids zoo said in a Thursday release.
“Though we are incredibly sad to see them go, it has been a memorable highlight for many watching these three through their first year of life.”
Zoo Knoxville has seen several new additions in the past year. Bat-eared foxes Fern and Motsumi came to Knoxville in June. Two new Cuban crocodiles, Rose and Miguel, and Joe the Sloth are making their home at the $18 million Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Campus, better known as ARC. A new baby zebra named Mosi who was born in December and in November, three-year-old African lioness Amara was brought in from South Carolina.