A rare Red Panda cub was born in July at Lincoln Children's Zoo in Nebraska. Baby Lincoln, as zookeepers are calling him, is currently being hand-raised because his mother is unable to care for him. He is one of only four Red Panda cubs in the country being hand-raised. Lincoln spends his days in an incubator with around-the-clock care, and is growing stronger and healthier every day. Like his older brothers, Rusty and Wayne, he will eventually move to another zoo. Zookeepers named him Lincoln to represent the city of Lincoln and state of Nebraska when he moves to a new home in the future.
Photo credits: Lincoln Children's Zoo
See a video of the cub in his nursery:
See and read more after the fold.
Red Pandas are not closely related to Giant Pandas; rather, they belong in their own unique group that is more closely related to weasels. They are native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. Fully grown, they are slightly larger than domestic cats. Red Pandas spend most of their time in trees, eating a variety of fruits, leaves and eggs. Their long bushy tails are excellent for balance, and also serve as a cozy wrap-around scarf for the Red Panda in cold weather.
Although protected throughout most of their range, Red Pandas are threatened by poaching and habitat loss. They have been classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Species; it is estimated that there are fewer than 10,000 adult Red Pandas. When he eventually moves to a new zoo, Lincoln will be a valuable addition to the coordinated breeding effort that aids Red Panda conservation.