The following is a Press Release from Potter Park Zoo.

New Red Panda Exhibit Nears Completion

Large donation from Jeff and David Williams of Williams AutoWorld helped
move the state-of-the-art project forward

The red panda exhibit under construction at Potter Park Zoo is nearing completion and will house Rupert Jr. and Maliha, the zoo's two red panda, some time in early fall.

"We have received tremendous support for this project, particularly from Jeff and David Williams of Williams AutoWorld," said Sherrie Graham, Director of Potter Park Zoo. "The generous $30,000 contribution received from the Williams helped us move forward on our continued efforts to make every exhibit at Potter Park Zoo state-of-the-art."

The Williams family has a strong connection to Potter Park Zoo. This year Jeff and David Williams decided to strengthen their tie with the zoo by supporting the new red panda exhibit with a $30,000 gift. This gift is in recognition of Jeff's oldest son's love of red pandas. 

"Our dad started the business in 1971 and instilled in us the importance of giving back and the need to be involved in the community. After he retired, we wanted to continue that philosophy," said Jeff. "We were interested in making a gift with a defined purpose. We have a family-wide love for the outdoors and animals. The zoo allows us to be a voice for animals, since they don't have one."

Red panda are native to Asia, from Nepal to the Sichuan province in China and are currently endangered. The new exhibit will be home to Potter Park Zoo's two red panda, Maliha and Rupert Jr. Both are part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP). The improvements to the housing of Potter Park Zoo's red pandas allow the zoo to participate in the SSP breeding program. There are over 170 SSPs that, throughout the accredited zoo community, work to maintain healthy and genetically diverse populations of animals facing extinction in the wild. To learn more about the red panda and conservation efforts on their behalf, visit


Potter Park Zoo is located at 1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave. within Potter Park along the Red Cedar River in Lansing, Michigan.  The zoo is open daily year-round, summer hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (517) 483-4222 or visit