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Zoo news: Help name red panda cub, Lulu the giraffe moving to Nebraska, new low-cost tickets and membership pass

Woodland Park Zoo is asking the public to vote on a new name for one of its red panda cubs. Choose from three names selected by zookeepers:
• Zeya (zay-uh) – means success in Burmese
• Daxa (duck-shuh) – means clever in Hindi
• Zhú (jhoo) — means bamboo in Mandarin

The poll is open now through Aug. 27 at zoo.org/redpanda. Both the winning name and the privately-chosen name of the second red panda cub will be announced on Aug. 29.

The twin cubs were born in June to 2-year-old first-time mom Hazel and 13-year-old dad Yukiko. It was the first successful birth of red pandas at the zoo in nearly three decades – the last successful birth was in 1989.

Hazel lives in a private, indoor climate-controlled den where she can continue to nurse and bond with her babies in a calm and quiet environment; the den is off view to zoo guests. Yukiko does not yet have contact with his new family, but introductions may be planned in the near future.

The zoo anticipates putting Hazel and her cubs in the outdoor public exhibit in mid-October to late November.

Lulu, the zoo’s 1-year-old giraffe is moving to Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Lincoln, Nebraska, in early September.

At her new home, Lulu will join a herd of young giraffes in a brand new $20 million, 10-acre expansion, which will also house Sumatran tigers, black-headed monkeys and several other species. When the exhibit opens in spring 2019, year-round giraffe feeding opportunities will be offered for zoo guests.

An experienced driver who specializes in large animal transportation for zoos nationwide will transport Lulu in an extra tall trailer, offering greater neck and leg room for the 1,600-mile road trip. The heightened trailer is equipped with slip-proof flooring and lots of bedding for resting for the trip; Lulu will travel with browse (branches, twigs), daily grain, hay and water. The zoo’s giraffe keepers also will send Lulu off with a few bags of her favorite training treat, leaf eater biscuits, and a couple of special feeders and enrichment items.

The zoo has introduced a new low-cost ticket and membership pass.

The $5 Discover Ticket is available for current recipients of Washington Quest/EBT and/or WIC assistance. The Discover Ticket will be available from Sept. 4 through March 31 at zoo entrances only. Individuals and families presenting a Washington Quest card or WIC appointment folder and a valid form of photo ID can receive $5 admission per person for up to six individuals in the same family. (Limited to Washington state residents. At least one adult must present Quest card or WIC proof of enrollment.)

The $35 Explorer Pass family membership offers free admission for up to eight individuals to the zoo year-round for current recipients of Washington Quest/EBT and/or WIC assistance. These memberships are limited to the first 2,000 who apply through a special application process open through Aug. 30, or until filled.

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