Meet Zeya and her twin sister, Ila!

The community has voted to name one of Woodland Park Zoo’s red panda cubs Zeya (ZAY-uh), meaning success in Burmese. The second red panda cub has been named Ila (EE-la), meaning earth in Sanskrit.

Zeya’s name was chosen by more than 1,600 people that participated in an online vote between three names selected by zookeepers. Ila’s name was chosen by the Rosauer family, longtime friends of the zoo.

The red panda cubs, like many of the zoo’s other animals, were named to honor the land that they are native to. Red pandas are indigenous to the Himalayan mountain region that includes parts of Nepal, Myanmar, China and northern regions of India. “Zeya” is derived from the Burmese language, which is the official language of Myanmar. “Ila” can be translated as “earth” and comes from the ancient Sanskrit language from which many modern languages spoken in India are derived.




Red pandas share the name of giant pandas, but more closely resemble raccoons. Recent studies suggest they are closely related to skunks, raccoons and weasels. Red pandas are an endangered species native to the bamboo forests of China, the Himalayas and Myanmar. Because of deforestation, increased agriculture and cattle grazing, and continued pressure from growing local populations, fewer than 10,000 red pandas remain in the wild.

Woodland Park Zoo supports the Red Panda Network, whose multi-prong approach aims to conserve this flagship species in Nepal. Help support the project by adopting a red panda through the zoo’s ZooParent Adoption Program.


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Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103   |  206.548.2500  |

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