Wasabi makes John Ball Zoo debut

Posted at 5:14 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 17:14:25-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The John Ball Zoo’s newest resident made her public debut on Thursday.

Wasabi is a 2-year-old female red panda who came from a zoo in Omaha, Nebraska to join Wyatt, who arrived in Grand rapids in 2017.

The zoo says Wasabi is shy at first, but they expect the pair to get along once they’re accustomed to each other.

“Wyatt is known for being a little pushy around girls when they first show up, and once they push him back a tiny bit, he's kind of laid back and a push over,” said Tim Sampson, John Ball Zoo animal curator. “We haven't seen that yet with Wasabi, I don't think we're going to see a lot of different behaviors.”

The zoo has modified the red pandas’ exhibit with a new viewing window and more living space for the pair.

Sampson says the zoo is hoping to breed the red pandas next year.