Knoxville Zoo's Red Panda Cubs Officially Named

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville Zoo's Red Panda Cubs Officially Named

Posted: 09/17/2013
Knoxville Zoo The votes have been counted, and after a spirited round of balloting Knoxville Zoo's 15-week-old panda cubs have officially been christened Tabei and Tenzing.

The names Tabei and Tenzing are tributes to some of the first pioneers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world and part of the red pandas' native range. Junko Tabei was the first woman to summit the mountain in 1975 and Tenzing Norgay was the Sherpa guide who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on the first ascent to the peak in 1953.

The names were chosen over second-place finishers Summitt and Neyland from four final pairs of nominations that were put to a public vote. The donations of $1 per vote raised more than $1,000 to support the zoo's red panda conservation program, which is the top breeding program in the world for this endangered species native to the Himalayan foothills. Siblings Tabei and Tenzing are the 105th and 106th red pandas to be born in Knoxville.

Catch a glimpse of the cubs on the Panda Cam at

Knoxville Zoo is Knoxville's largest year-round attraction. Located off exit 392 from Interstate 40, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Day. Knoxville Zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. The he zoo is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit