How to train your panda

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Armed with grapes, a target stick and a clicker, Trainee Keeper Jake has spent the past 10 weeks working with and training Tao Tao, our male red panda.

The behaviours he is learning will help keepers care for Tao Tao, enabling him to be regularly checked and eventually weighed, all while keeping his stress levels to an absolute minimum.  

Many of our animals take part in some form of training exercises. This is to encourage them to exhibit natural behaviours and to assist the keepers in their day to day care of these animals. As with all animal training, Tao Tao’s training uses positive reinforcement, allowing him animal to choose to participate in exchange for his favourite treat. 

The health of our zoo family, which includes our visitors, staff and animals, is our top priority. In light of the most recent advice from Public Health England and the government, we have closed Blackpool Zoo at until further notice.

Please be assured that our dedicated keeper team will continue to provide the best care for our animals during the closure.

If you’ve booked tickets for any day during this closure, you can exchange them for any other date in 2020 or we can provide a refund. Please send your booking details to

We’ll keep you informed through our website and social media channels. We apologise for any disappointment and thank you for your patience.

We really look forward to welcoming you back to Blackpool Zoo when we re-open.

Stay safe everyone.