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Tenzing Norgay's family learns of red panda namesake

Zoo News - Posted 26 May 2016

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The youngest members of our Red Panda group, Jamuna (female) and Tenzing (male), were born at Hamilton Zoo on January 22, 2015. They live happily in their enclosure along with big sister Khusi, mother Tayla and father Chito. 

When they were born the Zoo team thought it would be appropriate to give children from the natural habitat of the red panda the honour of naming them. Through the Red Panda Network, that task went to students from the Red Panda Roots & Shoots group at the Shree Rastriya Lower Secondary School in the Ilam district of Eastern Nepal.

Jamanu is the name of the village in Ilam near where the children at the school live and Tenzing is in honour of the Nepalese Sherpa who was one of the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest alongside Sir Edmund Hillary.  

While ‘Sherpa’ Tenzing Norgay died in 1986, his son, Norbu Tenzing Norgay heard about this and wrote to us through our Hamilton zookeeper Sarah Jones who has done a lot of work in Nepal with red pandas.


“Dear friends of Hamilton Zoo,

The Tenzing Norgay family is very pleased to hear that a Red Panda has been named after our father Tenzing Norgay. My father was very fond of nature and was familiar with Red Pandas which are native to the Himalaya. Please take good care of Tenzing whom we hope to meet one day!

Thank you,

Norbu Tenzing Norgay

On behalf of the Tenzing Norgay family”


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Conservation Coordinator of the Red Panda Network Sonam (left) with Tenzing Norgay's son Norbu.

To learn more about red panda conservation CLICK HERE.


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