Zoo expands trail system with otter, red panda exhibits

John McDevitt
May 23, 2018 - 4:37 pm
Water Is Life: Red Panda Pass and Otter Falls

John McDevitt | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Water may have been the focal point at the Philadelphia Zoo's new exhibit opening, but it was hard to ignore the cute critters taking a dip in the new lagoons.

The exhibit, called "Water Is Life: Red Panda Pass and Otter Falls," opened Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a display of what will utilize the space: otters and red pandas.

The exhibit is broken into two zones. In the first one, otters can enjoy a pool with a big blue slide, climb the rocks of a waterfall and jump into another pool, where guests get an underwater view.

Follow the path, and the second zone opens up to the spacious home of the red pandas.

There are also interactive water features for humans to enjoy.

Andy Baker, the zoo's chief operating officer, said this is the latest phase of the Zoo360 animal trail system, which features a winding maze of overhead bridges and tunnels for the animals to roam above guests.

"The red pandas have an overhead pass connecting two different habitats together — much more space for them," he said. "And the otters [have] the sequence of activities that allow them to really show off their swimming and other athletic skills."