TYCHUS GILLARD will be one of three Tychuses to take the helm at the Cleveland Zoo.
Tycho, an Australian-bred giant panda, is the third of two young animals to take over as the zoo’s senior vice-president.
The other is Kavita, a giant puma, who has been leading the charge for a permanent replacement.
The zoo has lost over 500 animals in the past five years, and the pandas, along with several other critically endangered animals, are among those being culled.
A statement from the zoo said the decision to put on the Tycho show was based on the zoo being able to attract more visitors and raise awareness of the pandemic.
“We believe the Zoo will be able to raise the profile of our pandas and to attract new and enthusiastic fans to our exhibitions, so they will continue to thrive in the future,” it said.
“The Zoo is also keen to highlight the importance of protecting the wild panda population by protecting the zoo as a public space.”
But it said it was not going to do a Tycho-style show just to attract tourists, adding it would have to consider other aspects of its business.
“There are other aspects to the Zoo that have nothing to do with pandas,” the statement said.
Tycho is the zoo version of the Disney character Mickey Mouse, which was born in Australia and has been seen by millions worldwide.
It was created by a group of Australian researchers in the late 1990s.
It is one of the largest and most expensive pandas in the world, weighing more than 7,000kg (16,500lb).
The zoo’s website says Tycho is a panda whose eyes and ears have been damaged by the coronavirus, which can cause deafness and blindness.
The Tycho exhibit has become a major draw for the zoo, attracting thousands of people every year.
Its popularity has led to other pandas becoming part of the attraction.
Earlier this year, Tycho became the youngest animal to enter the zoo since the panda pandemic in 2016.
“Tycho was one of our most sought after guests, and we know how much she is loved by the public,” the zoo statement said, adding that the pandahas “love to be touched”.
The zoo said it planned to make Tycho available to visitors in a future show, but the public was not yet invited.
Tychus will now join an impressive group of pandas to join the zoo in a permanent role.
The zoo has already had four pandas enter the permanent role in its permanent collection, and is looking to have at least three more come in.
“I am thrilled to be joining Tycho in her new role, and I look forward to seeing her grow into a confident and happy giant pita at the Zoo,” said Tycho’s owner, Kavitha.
The Tychuse show is expected to open on May 15.