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Lehigh Valley Zoo’s Red Panda Habitat Construction is Underway

D&S Elite Construction, Inc. anticipates project completion by late spring.

Mar 15, 2024

by Lehigh Valley Zoo

Lehigh Valley Zoo, in conjunction with project manager D&S Elite Construction, Inc., is excited to announce that construction of the zoo’s new habitat for red pandas is underway. The exhibit is expected to be completed for a Grand Opening later this spring.

The location, which previously housed the North American prairie dogs, has been reimagined for a habitat designed to meet the standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the zoo’s accrediting body, as well as to maximize the welfare of red pandas.

“D&S Elite Construction, Inc. is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with the Lehigh Valley Zoo and a talented team of tradespeople to create this remarkable habitat for the Red Panda,” said Allen Butler, D&S Elite Construction, Inc.’s Vice President of Construction. “We are eager to develop and construct an exhibit that not only provides visitors with a personal and up-close experience but also contributes to educating the community about the plight of this endangered species for generations to come.”

LV Zoo President and CEO Amanda Shurr added, “This is an exciting time for the Lehigh Valley Zoo, and we are happy to work together with D&S Elite Construction to bring this new species to our zoo. We are thrilled to play a role in the conservation of this endangered species and to offer our community the opportunity to learn about red pandas and observe them in a modern habitat.”

Red pandas have a population reported to be fewer than 10,000 in the wild as a result of deforestation, poaching, accidental trapping, and illegal pet trade. Providing a home for red pandas at LV Zoo supports the zoo’s vision of partnering with the community to be a leader in conservation education and action.

As part of its master plan, LV Zoo intends to further grow the zoo with species from the Himalayan region as they are temperature-hardy and will be able to handle the North American climate year-round. These new species will continue to provide the opportunity for the Lehigh Valley community to learn about the natural world around us and, hopefully, support the zoo in its ongoing conservation efforts.

The community is encouraged to support LV Zoo’s red pandas by visiting lvzoo.org/red-panda. All individual donors who contribute at least $500 will receive recognition on exhibit signage. LV Zoo is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that relies on the support of our community to grow and prosper.

Guests can visit current LV Zoo residents seven days a week during its current winter hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beginning on April 1, the zoo extends to its in-season hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at lvzoo.org.

D&S Elite Construction, Inc., headquartered in Douglassville, is a full-service general contracting company serving Lehigh, Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and neighboring counties. Specializing in both commercial and residential construction, D&S Elite Construction, Inc. works closely with homeowners and businesses to create beautiful, functional spaces tailored to individual needs. With a commitment to excellence, D&S Elite Construction, Inc. adheres to the highest industry standards, ensuring longevity and durability in every project. Employing industry-leading construction practices and utilizing top-quality materials designed to withstand the tests of time and usage, the company delivers unparalleled workmanship, exceptional service, and elite results that will last for generations. This dedication to quality craftsmanship and enduring outcomes is encapsulated in their tagline, “Your Legacy Builder™.” https://www.dseliteconstruction.com.

As a member-supported non-profit organization, Lehigh Valley Zoological Society was founded in 2004, but it has been a treasured community landmark for centuries. Located in the Lehigh Valley’s Trexler Game Preserve, the mission of the Lehigh Valley Zoo is to connect its community with nature to empower people to protect wildlife. We have achieved our mission and educated more than five million people. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Lehigh Valley Zoo hosts year-round, family-friendly events and activities, educational programs, and camps. To learn more about Lehigh Valley Zoo, we invite you to visit our website, www.lvzoo.org, or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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