Panda Canyon



Meet the takin (say “tock-in”). If that name doesn’t sound familiar, don’t worry. Most people have never heard of them, and many can’t guess what kind of animal a takin is even when they see one! Gold-colored takins seem to have the horns of a wildebeest, the nose of a moose, and the body of a bison! But takins are related to sheep and wild goats, and some people think of them as goat-antelopes. Their Panda Trek hillside exhibit has rock outcroppings to scamper up and on. In China, both takins and giant pandas are considered to be national treasures.

Red Panda

Although red pandas like to eat bamboo and live in China’s bamboo forests with giant pandas, don’t let their name fool you. Formerly known as lesser pandas, DNA studies show that red pandas represent a unique family that diverged from the rest of the carnivore order, so they are now placed in their own unique family: Ailuridae. The Chinese name for the red panda is hun-ho, meaning fire fox. The red panda’s reddish coat and white face mask offer camouflage among the red moss and white lichen that cover the trees of its bamboo forest home.

Giant Panda

Who can resist the endearing face and lumbering ways of giant pandas? The San Diego Zoo has had a love affair with giant pandas ever since two of them came to visit for 100 days in 1987. In 1996, we worked out an agreement with China to house two adult pandas and their young offspring. We have three giant pandas: Bai Yun and Gao Gao; and Xiao Liwu, born at the Zoo in 2012. Bai Yun and Xiao Liwu can be seen in their habitat at Panda Trek, near the Giant Panda Research Station.

Hua Mei Café

Located between Asian Passage and Panda Canyon, Hua Mei Café offers a variety of Asian favorites such as Orange Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, and Peppered Beef Teriyaki—plus, Mandarin Orange Salad, Sriracha Tofu, Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches, Potstickers, Vegetable Egg Rolls, Edamame, and more. Also available are Sriracha Angus Cheeseburgers, Chicken Strip Baskets, Garden Veggie Burgers, and Kid’s Meals. Beverages include soft drinks and craft beers.

Opens at 10:30 a.m.

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