Red Panda

Rare Glimpse of Red Pandas at Highland Wildlife Park

Red Panda Kit 3 weeks old 3 - credit Alyson Houston

A pair of Red Panda cubs was born recently at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park. The duo was welcomed in July by mum, Kitty, and dad, Kevyn.

Keepers say it will be a rare opportunity for visitors to catch glimpses of the two fuzzy cubs. The first four months of their lives will be spent, for the most part, safely tucked in their den with mum.

Red Panda Kits 3 weeks old 4 - credit  Alyson Houston

Red Panda Kit 3 weeks old 2- credit Corinne Pardey

Red Panda Kit 3 weeks old 1 - credit Corinne PardeyPhoto Credits: RZSS/ Alyson Houston (Images 1,2) / Corinne Pardey (3,4) / Una Richardson (5)

The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. It is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, and insects.

The species has been classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN. Its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression.

Red Panda Kits 6 Day old kits - credit Una Richardson


Red Panda Cubs Get Their Third Checkup

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Woodland Park Zoo’s veterinary team recently performed a third neonatal exam on the zoo’s twin Red Panda cubs. The 5-week-old female cubs, born on June 19, have opened their eyes and weigh just under two pounds each. At birth, they weighed about five ounces each. The parents of the cubs are two-year-old mom Hazel and 13-year-old dad Yukiko.

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Unnamed (1)Photo Credit: John Loughlin/Woodland Park Zoo

We first introduced the twins on ZooBorns shortly after their second neonatal exam last month.

As a first-time mom, Hazel continues to provide attentive care in an indoor, climate-controlled den where she can nurse and bond with her cubs in a quiet environment; the den is off view to zoo guests. Yukiko does not yet have contact with his new family, but introductions will be planned in the near future.

The zoo anticipates putting Hazel and her cubs in their exhibit habitat by mid-October and the community will be invited to participate in a public naming later this summer.

Red Pandas share a name with Giant Pandas, but recent studies suggest they are closely related to Skunks, Weasels and Raccoons. An endangered species, fewer than 10,000 Red Pandas remain in their native habitat of bamboo forests in China, the Himalayas, and Myanmar. They share part of their range with Giant Pandas. Their numbers are declining due to deforestation, increased agriculture and cattle grazing, and continuing pressure from growing human populations.

Woodland Park Zoo supports the Red Panda Network, whose multi-prong approach aims to conserve this flagship species in Nepal.


Binghamton Zoo Announces Red Panda Birth

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The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is proud to announce that a Red Panda cub was born on July 7th to parents, Mei-Li and Ferguson.

According to the Zoo, the cub has been with Mei-Li since birth and is growing, as expected, currently weighing in at 387 grams.

This is another impressive accomplishment for the Binghamton Zoo and the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, a program to manage a genetically healthy population of Red Pandas in North American zoos. ​The facility is currently active in ​23 Species Survival Programs.

In the coming weeks, the Zoo will announce a formal cub introduction and a community naming contest. Dates and times will be shared on their social media when they are determined.

Keepers want to make note that the cub may not be visible for several weeks until it is big enough to climb out of the nest box. Fans can follow the growth of the Red Panda cub at the Binghamton Zoo here: https://rossparkzoo.com/redpanda/

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2018_animal_red_panda_cub3Photo Credits: Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park

The Red Panda is listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN. Their population has declined by 50% over the past 20 years. This decline is primarily due to deforestation, which eliminates Red Pandas’ nesting sites and sources of food. Through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Binghamton Zoo participates in several Species Survival Plans (SSP), ensuring the long-term health and survival of captive species, including the Red Panda.

Red Pandas can be found in the Himalayan Mountains: in parts of Burma, Nepal, India, and China.

Contrary to popular belief, Red Pandas are not related to the Giant Panda but are closely related to the raccoon family.

Red Pandas spend most of their days sleeping in trees and are most active at nighttime. They are herbivores, eating berries, leaves, grains, nuts, fruits, flowers, and bird eggs. Litter sizes range from one to four young. The young remain nest-bound for about 90 days after birth and reach their adult size at about 12 months. The maximum lifespan for Red Pandas is 14 years.


Zoo Celebrates Birth of Red Panda Twins

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Woodland Park Zoo’s three-week-old Red Panda cubs had their second neonatal exam this week and the female twins are healthy and thriving. The cubs were born on June 19 to two-year-old mom Hazel and 14-year-old dad Yukiko. The last successful birth of Red Pandas at the zoo was in 1989.

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Unnamed (2)Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

The exam was performed by the zoo’s veterinary team as a part of the zoo’s exemplary care program for its 1,200 animals. Born at about five ounces each, the cubs now weigh just over a pound. “We’re pleased with this weight gain, which means both cubs continue to nurse and have healthy appetites. Their eyes are not open yet but they are quite vocal as cubs should be,” said Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health. 

Hazel, a first-time mom, lives in a private indoor, climate-controlled habitat, which provides a quiet environment where she can bond with her cubs. Because Red Pandas normally live alone, except for mothers with cubs, the dad remains separated from the new family. 

“We continue to monitor mom and cubs via a den cam to ensure they are thriving and we have minimal physical contact with the family,” said Mark Myers, a curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “The cubs are crawling and are capable of rolling over to upright positions. In another week or so, we should begin seeing continued motor skill development. This first month for newborn Red Pandas is an important time and our twins are on target with important developmental milestones.”

The zoo anticipates putting Hazel and her cubs on exhibit for guests to see by mid-October. “Timing will depend on their ability to safely navigate elevated branches, trees and other exhibit features. Because Red Pandas live in high-altitude temperate forests with bamboo understories in the Himalayas and high mountains, they are very comfortable in the coldest of conditions throughout the winter,” explained Myers. The community will be invited to participate in a public naming later this summer. 

Red Pandas share the name of Giant Pandas, but recent studies suggest they are closely related to Skunks, Weasels and Raccoons. An endangered species, fewer than 10,000 Red Pandas remain in their native habitat of bamboo forests in China, the Himalayas and Myanmar, and share part of their range with Giant Pandas. Their numbers are declining due to deforestation, increased agriculture and cattle grazing, and continuing pressure from growing human populations. 

Woodland Park Zoo supports the Red Panda Network, whose multi-prong approach aims to conserve this flagship species in Nepal.


Red Panda Cub Helps Shed Light on Rescue Efforts

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Perth Zoo’s new Nepalese Red Panda cub was given its first health check, just as an Australian conservation organization helped rescue six Red Pandas being trafficked across international borders.

Perth Zoo Keeper, Marty Boland said, “We were very excited to welcome a new cub to the Zoo family, however it coincides with the rescue of six Red Pandas from wildlife traffickers, emphasizing just how perilous it is out there for these animals.”

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AlexAsbury_RedPandaDSC_1200_0361Photo Credits: Alex Asbury/ Perth Zoo 

The rescued Red Pandas, destined for the illegal wildlife trade, were taken into the care of one of Perth Zoo’s conservation partners, Free the Bears, after being seized on the border of Laos and China. Tragically, only three of the six survived their first night due to severe stress and potential exposure to disease.

“The recent rescue in Laos highlights how vital coordinated zoo breeding programs are for the survival of this endangered species. It ensures we have an insurance population in place to fight extinction.”

Including the new cub, Perth Zoo has successfully reared 19 Nepalese Red Pandas since 1997.

The two-month old Red Panda was born to 9-year-old mother, Anusha, who was also born at Perth Zoo, and 6-year-old father, Makula, who was born in Canberra.

"Today our veterinarians gave our furry new arrival a quick health check of its body condition, eyes, teeth, ears and weight,” Marty said. “The Perth Zoo team are also consulting with Free the Bears, providing advice on appropriate diets and how to reduce heat stress for the rescued pandas.”

Nepalese Red Pandas are found across the Himalayan Mountain and foothills of India, China, Nepal and Bhutan. Deforestation and illegal poaching continue to be significant threats to remaining populations. Less than 10,000 are thought to remain in the wild.

Apart from coordinated breeding programs, Perth Zoo is committed to saving wildlife and has several conservation partners, including Free the Bears, and an ongoing partnership with TRAFFIC, the international wildlife trade monitoring network. Jointly we help fund a Wildlife Crime Analyst position to fight wildlife trafficking and poaching.

Perth Zoo’s Red Panda cub is expected to emerge from the nest box in April.

Those wanting to help Red Pandas are encouraged to donate to Perth Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Action program, which supports organizations including Free the Bears and TRAFFIC, helping protect animals beyond the Zoo’s borders.

More information can be found at: https://perthzoo.wa.gov.au/get-involved/donation-conservation


Red Panda Brothers Debut at Philadelphia Zoo

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The Philadelphia Zoo’s two new adorable Red Panda cubs recently made their public debut.

Brothers, Yeren and Ping Jing, were born to mom, Spark, and dad, Khumbie, in June. This is the second successful Red Panda litter at Philadelphia Zoo. Twins, Benjamin and Betsey, were born in June of 2015.

Spark is a wonderful mom and is doing a great job caring for her new babies, and the Zoo says all are doing very well.

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3_RedPanda_CubPingjing_5622Photo Credits: Philadelphia Zoo

The birth of this litter is important, as Red Pandas are classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN. The main threats to the species in the wild are habitat destruction, poaching and climate change.

Known for their cinnamon colored fur and bushy, ringed-tail, the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is native to the mountains of Central China, Nepal and northern Myanmar (Burma).

Yeren and Ping Jing are now on exhibit with their mom Spark each day at Philadelphia Zoo.


Denver Zoo Announces Birth of Red Panda Brothers

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The Denver Zoo welcomed the birth of two, male Red Panda cubs on August 27. The brothers, who don't have names yet, have been quietly spending time behind the scenes with their mother, Faith, in a nest box.

Keepers say the cubs are doing well and growing fast; they currently each weigh just over one pound. They won't, however, be visible to the public for another few weeks, when they'll be more developed and ready to join their father, Hamlet, in the Zoo's Red Panda enclosure.

Denver Zoo animal care staff and veterinarians are keeping a close eye on the cubs, performing regular exams to check their weight, temperature and overall wellness. In their first days of life, the cubs received some supplemental feedings. However, keepers say the cubs and mother are thriving, and that the brothers are pretty feisty when they wrestle each other.

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3_6Z7A1518Photo Credits: Denver Zoo

This is both parents' second litter. Faith was born in June 2014 at Toronto Zoo; Hamlet was born in July 2013 at Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) brought the two to Denver Zoo, Faith from Trevor Park Zoo in New York and Hamlet from Toronto Zoo, in 2015 under a breeding recommendation, which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. The couple’s first litter of cubs, Lali and Masu, was born at Denver Zoo in June 2016. By recommendation of the SSP, Lali moved to Scovill Zoo in Illinois, and Masu was moved to Norfolk Zoo in Virgina in April of this year.

Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) are native to Asia and are most commonly found in Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. As their name suggests, the animals are red and have off-white markings, large puffy tails and pointed ears. Red Pandas, like Giant Pandas, have very specialized diet requirements and eat a large amount of bamboo daily.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies Red Pandas as “Endangered”. According to the IUCN, their biggest threats come from habitat loss and fragmentation, habitat degradation and physical threats. Red Pandas are part of the Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) in zoos around the world. GSMP is allied with field conservation efforts for animals around the world.


Double the Fluff: Twin Red Pandas Born at Cleveland Zoo

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The fluffle is real! Two Red Panda cubs were born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on June 20.

The cubs, both male, are snug in their nest box under the care of their mother, Xue Li. These are Xue Li’s first cubs.

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KCL_4347-EditPhoto Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Red Panda cubs typically remain in the next box for the first three months of life. Mom may occasionally carry the cubs in her mouth from one nest box to another during this time. The zoo staff does not intervene in the cubs’ care except to perform occasional checkups and weigh the cubs to monitor their progress.  At their most recent weigh-in, the cubs weighed about two pounds each.  Adult Red Pandas weigh eight to 14 pounds. 

Mom Xue Li was born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2013. Her mate, Firecracker, age 11, previously lived at the Buffalo Zoo and the Greenville Zoo. Their pairing was recommended by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, a program that aims to maximize genetic diversity in threatened populations under human care. These two male cubs will make important genetic contributions to the zoo-dwelling Red Panda population when they are paired with unrelated females in a few years.

Feeding mainly on bamboo, Red Pandas are most active at night and sleep much of the day. They prefer to rest on tree branches and are quite comfortable outdoors in very cold weather.

Red Pandas are native only to the Himalayan Mountains in southwestern China. They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to the consistent decline in their wild population, which numbers only 10,000 mature individuals.  As Red Pandas’ habitat is lost and fragmented into smaller and smaller tracts, the population shrinks and the effects of inbreeding, such as lowered fertility, further the decline.

 


Red Panda Twins Born at Binghamton Zoo

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The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is proud to announce the birth of twin Red Panda cubs on June 11 to second-time mother, Mei-Li.

The first cub has been with Mei-Li since birth and has grown as expected. The second cub was significantly smaller at birth, and after close observation, the decision was made to add supplemental feedings, hoping to allow the cub to stay with mom and sibling.

However, it became evident that the second cub was going to need additional care and support and was subsequently removed for hand rearing by Animal Care staff. This cub is now gaining weight appropriately, though additional health concerns have come to light. At this point, staff will be moving forward with the current care plan and will wait for the cub to become healthier before putting it back with Mei-Li.

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2017_red_panda_cub_b1Photo Credits: Binghamton Zoo

The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN because its population has declined by 50% over the past 20 years. This decline is primarily due to deforestation, which eliminates red pandas’ nesting sites and sources of food. Through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Binghamton Zoo participates in several Species Survival Plans (SSP), ensuring the long-term health and survival of captive species, including the Red Panda.

Red Pandas can be found in the Himalayan Mountains in parts of Buma, Nepal, India, and China. Contrary to popular belief, Red Pandas are not related to the Giant Panda, but are closely related to the raccoon family.

Red Pandas spend most of their days sleeping in trees and are most active at nighttime. They are herbivores, eating berries, leaves, grains, nuts, fruits, flowers, and bird eggs.

Litter size ranges from one to four young. The young remain nest-bound for about 90 days after birth and reach their adult size at about 12 months. The maximum lifespan for Red Pandas is about 14 years.

According to Zoo staff, Cub A is on exhibit, but may not be visible for several weeks until it is big enough to climb out of the nest box. Cub B will continue to be off exhibit while under veterinary care.

The Zoo will soon host a gender reveal party and will be hosting a naming contest. Fans can also follow the growth of the Red Panda cubs via the Binghamton Zoo’s website: www.rossparkzoo.com/red-panda-cubs ​ ​


Red Panda Cub Gets a Helping Hand at Taronga Zoo

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A Red Panda cub is making a remarkable recovery at Taronga Zoo with the help of a surrogate mom and a cuddly soft toy.

The two-month-old female cub, named Maiya, gets round-the-clock care after sustaining a neck injury while being carried in her mother’s mouth.

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Red Panda Cub 6_Photo by Paul FahyPhoto Credit:  Paul Fahy/Taronga Zoo

“She’s definitely a little survivor,” said Tamara Gillies, Maiya’s primary keeper. “She’s guzzling down her milk formula, she’s gaining weight every day and the wound on her neck has almost completely healed.”

The cub has also found a fluffy new friend in the form of a soft toy Red Panda, which she clings to while feeding and sleeping.

“The soft toy gives her something with a familiar scent to snuggle and play with. It’s the same color as a real Red Panda and she clings to it using her claws and teeth as she would do with her mum,” said Tamara.

Maiya, whose name means “little girl” in Nepali, was born at Taronga on November 20, 2016 to first-time parents Amala and Pabu. The cub spent her first five weeks in mother Amala’s care before keepers made the difficult decision to intervene.

“It was a hard choice as we’d always prefer for a cub to be raised by its mother. Amala was doing an amazing job for a first-time mum. She was very attentive and we observed all the right suckling and grooming behaviours, but unfortunately the injury to the cub’s neck required urgent veterinary care,” said Tamara.

Tamara said it’s not uncommon for Red Panda cubs to experience neck wounds as mothers often carry their young by the scruff of the neck.

Maiya will remain in Tamara’s constant care for at least another month, but keepers are already taking steps to gradually reintroduce the cub to her parents.

Red Pandas are native to the Himalayan Mountains, where they dwell in the forests.  They feed primarily on bamboo and are in decline due to shrinking habitat.

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