Red Panda

Milwaukee County Zoo Celebrates Red Panda Birth

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The Milwaukee County Zoo recently announced the birth of their first Red Panda cub! The yet unnamed female was born June 6, and she now shares a birthday with her father, Dash.

The cub was born to first time mother, “Dr. Erin Curry” (also known as Dr. E.). Mom is 3-years-old and is originally from the Cincinnati Zoo. First time father, Dash, is 6-years-old and originally from the Granby Zoo in Quebec, Canada.

Because the youngster is still getting acclimated to her new surroundings, animal care staff is allowing her plenty of time to become comfortable and bond with mom before her introduction to visitors. It’s the Zoo’s hope she will make her public debut in the next few weeks.

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Red Panda Baby 08-2018-3438 EPhoto Credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

In the wild, Red Pandas live in the mountains of Nepal, northern Myanmar and central China. Red Pandas are considered endangered due to deforestation, poaching and trapping. With an estimated adult population of less than 2,500 and an approximate mortality rate of 86 percent, every Red Panda birth is very important.

Red Pandas are solitary animals, only interacting during mating season. Youngsters develop at a slow rate, spending the first year or more with mom. Blind for the first

21 to 31 days after birth, mothers keep cubs hidden in nests for the first two to three months. Mothers then teach the cubs how to climb and hunt.

Red Pandas rely on bamboo for most of their diet, specifically the most tender, young shoots and leaves. But, they are only able to extract one-fourth of the nutrients from the bamboo. They can spend up to 13 hours a day searching for and eating bamboo. During the summer months, they supplement their diet with fruit and insects. Cubs stop nursing around 13 to 22 weeks old.

Adult Red Pandas weigh up to 14 pounds and are around 2 feet-long, but their tails add extra length of up to 18-inches! This new addition weighed 166 grams at 3 days old and could fit in the palms of her keeper’s hands! She is now about 2,538 grams (5 pounds) and keepers say it takes both hands to pick her up.

Red Pandas are easily identifiable by their reddish-brown color, white face markings and speckling of black around their ears and legs. They begin to get this adult coloration around 50 days old, which acts as a camouflage. The fur covering their bodies also covers the pads on their feet. This helps Red Pandas keep the heat in their bodies during the cold winter months.

Zookeepers report that the new cub is doing very well, and first-time mother, Dr. E, is doing a great job raising her first cub. Details of her debut will be coming soon!


Twin Red Pandas Born at Virginia Zoo

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The Virginia Zoo welcomed two male Red Panda cubs in June. Born to two-year-old mom Masu and three-year-old dad Timur, the cubs were born at the Zoo’s Animal Wellness Campus. Red Panda cubs weigh approximately five ounces at birth, but each cub now weighs just over one pound.

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Virginia Zoo Photo 3Photo Credit: Virginia Zoo

Red Panda cubs are particularly vulnerable during their first month of life, and zoo staff members intervene with the cubs as little as possible.

“We wanted to give Masu the best chance possible to successfully birth and raise healthy cubs,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian. “We decided to move Masu to the Wellness Campus while she was still pregnant to give her the privacy and space she needed with as few disturbances and distractions as possible,” Dr. Clabbers added. Red Panda experts have found this species has better success when the mothers are able to give birth and provide the initial few months of care of their cubs off exhibit.

First-time mom Masu gave birth in an indoor, climate-controlled den where she has been nursing and bonding with her cubs in a quiet environment. The den is off view to the public and is monitored by staff. As Masu gets more comfortable allowing people to be near her cubs and the boys can safely navigate the trees and other exhibit features, the three will make their way to the original Red Panda exhibit off the main pathway.

The cubs have not yet been named.

“This is a significant birth for the species as there are less than 10,000 Red Pandas left in the wild,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “There has been a sharp decline in their population due to a loss of nesting trees and food resources in their native region, they are also hunted for their pelts. We are excited for the terrific care Masu has been providing for her cubs and look forward to having them on exhibit later this year,” Bockheim added.

Red Pandas are tree-dwelling mammals native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. Slightly larger than a domestic Cat and with markings similar to Raccoons, Red Pandas have soft, dense reddish-brown and white fur. They feed mainly on bamboo, but also various plant shoots, leaves, fruit, and insects. Red Pandas are shy and solitary except when mating.

Red Pandas are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.


Woodland Park Zoo's Red Panda Sisters Given Names

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The results are in! Names have been chosen for Woodland Park Zoo’s Red Panda sisters.

The first fuzzy cub is now known as Zeya (ZAY-uh), meaning “success” in Burmese, and the second cub has been named Ila (EE-la), meaning “earth” in Sanskrit.

Zeya’s name was chosen by more than 1,600 participants in online voting between three names selected by the zookeepers. Ila’s name was chosen by the Rosauer family (longtime friends and of the zoo).

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

The Red Panda cubs, like many of the zoo’s other animals, were named to honor the land that they are native to. Red Pandas are indigenous to the Himalayan mountain region that includes parts of Nepal, Myanmar, China and northern regions of India. “Zeya” is derived from the Burmese language, which is the official language of Myanmar. “Ila” can be translated as “earth” and comes from the ancient Sanskrit language from which many modern languages spoken in India are derived.

Continue reading "Woodland Park Zoo's Red Panda Sisters Given Names" »


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.