I would trade in every stuffed animal I have ever loved for 10 minutes with one of these little guys. The Edmonton Valley Zoo announced the birth of Tai and Pip on May 26th, 2008. Red Panda births are relatively rare in North America, with only four newborns in 2007. Every cub is crucial to the conservation breeding program and these little guys will contribute to the effort to protect their species as well as delight visitors.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo is pleased to welcome rare red panda twins. The 2008 babies were born on May 26 at 112 grams and 147 grams, and have more than doubled in weight significantly increasing their survival rate.
In 2007 only 4 babies were born in North America; two at the Valley Zoo, one in Calgary, and one in Winnipeg. The 2008 births of a second set of twins at the Valley Zoo has created great hope for the survival of the red panda. There are approximately 2000 to 5000 pandas in the wild; it is not yet known how the earthquake in Chengdu China has affected the population. The captive population in North America is 45.
“Since the population of Styan's red pandas in North America is small, every cub is crucial to the conservation breeding program. The red panda Species Survival Plan is thrilled with the births at Valley Zoo and appreciates the Zoo's outstanding efforts to ensure the cubs' survival,” said John Dinon, Red Panda Species Survival Plan coordinator.
The twins were removed shortly after birth when the mother began aggressively holding and grooming one of the babies endangering its life. To ensure their survival, the babies will be hand raised by Sandy Heiliker, the Valley Zoo’s Animal Health Technologist. She will be responsible for the 24/7 care of the babies, in conjunction with the Valley Zoo’s veterinarian Dr. Milton Ness. Sandy was responsible for the care of the twins born in 2007, who have become robust young pandas.
The cubs have been named Tai and Pip.