Snow day! Oregon Zoo animals enjoy romp in wintry blast

February 12, 2021 - 3:21pm
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Zoo closes to guests, but red pandas, beavers and other animals have fun in the snow

It was a winter wonderland at the Oregon Zoo today, as animals romped around in the season’s first major snowfall. Unsafe roads and walkways caused the zoo to close to guests, but keepers say the red pandas, river otters and other zoo residents were ready to play.

“The animals here don’t get to experience snow very often, so it can be a lot of fun when they do,” said Bob Lee, who oversees the zoo’s animal-care efforts. “Some of them are especially active in the cold weather, and some were seeing snow for the first time today.”

It was the first snowfall for red panda Pabu, who was born last June, and the weather did not slow down his famous sneak-attack pounces. Red pandas are native to the montane forests of the Himalayas, Lee said, and well adapted to wintry weather.

Many of the animals in the zoo’s Great Northwest and Steller Cove areas also seemed to be having a blast, including the river otters, beavers and harbor seals.