Mill Mountain Zoo, city library come together for International Red Panda Day

Roanoke City Public Libraries will be giving a free book to kids attending

You can dress up as an animal or your favorite story book character

ROANOKE, Va. – Kids can leave the Mill Mountain Zoo with a brand new book this Saturday for a family fun event.

Saturday is International Red Panda Day and with help from Roanoke City Public Libraries, the zoo’s celebration will also include children’s literacy.

Red pandas are endangered for several reasons and the international day is to bring awareness to the animal’s status in the wild.

Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mill Mountain Zoo is introducing kids to their red panda, Nova, as well as educating them about other endangered animals.

During the day, families can explore the zoo, make crafts, do worksheets, enjoy puppet shows and zookeeper chats.

Your kids could leave Mill Mountain Zoo this weekend with a free book

Bambi Godkin, the education manager of Mill Mountain Zoo told 10 News this event is intended to be a fun learning experience.

“We hope we’re instilling a compassion and an empathy for wildlife and nature that they will take into their adulthood and maybe they’ll become passionate about conservation, maybe it’s a field they go into when they get older.”

When you dress up as an animal or storybook character, you get a dollar off admission.

Every child gets to choose one book from the library to take home with them.

The books feature animals they can find at Mill Mountain Zoo.

While a zoo and library may seem like an unlikely pair, this event proves different.

“Our goals really align. We’re really about trying to engage and enrich the families in the Roanoke Valley and trying to make sure that they find education fun and learning fun and they want to go explore and they want to read a book and see the animal in the book,” said Amber Lowery, manager of youth services at Roanoke City Public Libraries.

To register, click here and pick a time slot.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.