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Atascadero zoo to celebrate new red panda exhibit Saturday

Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 23:03:08-05

The grand opening of the Thelma Vetter Red Panda Experience is scheduled for Saturday, March 2 at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero.

The new exhibit is part of the zoo’s master plan to provide state of the art, immersive exhibits that represent regions and animals from around the world.

The new home is due in large part to the generous bequest made by the estate of long-time Atascadero resident Thelma Vetter.

“Most of the zoo is built in the late 70s and we’ve been moving forward to this day,” said Alan Baker, Zoo Director. “Zoo exhibits, construction is very hard to do. They’re all one-off. You can’t go get the materials at Home Depot for the most part, so we’ve been planning this for a while, working on our master plan.”

The celebration on Saturday begins at 10 a.m.

The first 100 people at the zoo will receive half-priced admission. There will also be a raffle to win tickets to Brew at the Zoo and the Ice Cream Zoofari.

A red panda at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero. (KSBY photo)