A Red Panda cub appears to give its twin an earful as they make their media debut last week at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. The cubs were born on June 27, but they’ve still got a lot of growing to do before they enter their exhibit habitat to meet zoo guests.
The cubs, one male and one female, are named Ravi, which means “king,” and Amiya, translated as “delight.” Second-time mother Tabei has been caring for the cubs in an off-exhibit nest box since their birth. Their father, Ketu, is a second-time dad.
Zoo keepers have been conducting regular weight and wellness checks to monitor the cubs’ growth and health. Daily observations will continue until they are weaned around five to six months of age. Right now, the cubs have opened their eyes and can move about, but aren’t quite ready to climb out of the nest box.
In the wild, Red Panda cubs begin leaving the nest for short periods when they are about three months old.
As an accredited zoo, The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Red Pandas.
“The successful birth of these cubs is important to the North American population and comes after careful planning and preparation by our animal staff on the recommendation of the SSP. We are thrilled to share this good news and remain optimistic that the cubs will continue to thrive under their mother’s care,” says Zoo Director Ted Fox.
Red Pandas are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with less than 10,000 individuals remaining in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The loss of nesting trees and bamboo due to deforestation has caused a decline in their numbers.