The Denver Zoo is chock full of babies these days. Two twin red panda cubs, Amaya and Takeo, are now on display and appear quite playful. Red pandas are classified as endangered, with an estimated population of less than 2,500 mature individuals remaining in the wild. Their population continues to decline due to habitat fragmentation and hunting. Who in the world could hunt these little guys?!
Denver, CO (October 23, 2008) – Denver Zoo’s new twin red panda cubs can now be seen in their exhibit, weather permitting. The new additions, which were born June 29, have been widely sought after since their last physicals. They are Amaya, a female, and Takeo, a male. Amaya and Takeo are quite playful. Until recently the pair was being nurtured behind the scenes by mother Sophia before growing strong enough to be seen in their outdoor habitat.
Visitors can see the cubs at the zoo’s 24th annual Boo At The Zoo trick or treat event on October 25 & 26. Dress up as your favorite zooper hero and enjoy more than 25 candy stations, while enjoying the wild sites of the zoo – like Amaya and Takeo.
The new pandas were born to red pandas Sophia and He-Ping. He-Ping, arrived at Denver Zoo late last year from Milwaukee Zoo with his new mate, Sophia, from Mill Mountain Zoo. The two were paired together under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match.
The red panda cubs have grown much in only a few months. When they were born they were covered with cream-colored fur and could fit in the palm of a hand. Now the twins have their adult markings and look like slightly smaller versions of their parents, resembling red-colored raccoons.
Red pandas are classified as endangered, with an estimated population of less than 2,500 mature individuals remaining in the wild. Their population continues to decline due to habitat fragmentation and hunting. Like their larger cousins, these lesser pandas eat primarily bamboo shoots. At the zoo they also eat special vitamin-fortified biscuits. Red pandas are well adapted with their thick fur coats to live in the often low temperatures of the mountains of southeastern Asia and are quite comfortable outside during cooler days here in Denver.