Red Panda

UPDATE! Hand-raised Red Panda Cub Thrives at Sacramento Zoo

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Sacramento Zoo's Red Panda cub is making good progress! The cub, a male born on June 9th, weighs about one and a half pounds (685 grams), and eats about twenty percent of his body weight every day over the course of four feedings. Zoo staff decided to hand-raise the cub at two weeks-old because his mom did not seem to be producing enough milk. (You can read our first story about the cub here.) So far, the effort has been a success: he is exactly where he should be developmentally for his age, slowly gaining coordination and testing out his climbing abilities on veterinarians. His ears have perked up too!

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Photo credits: Mike Owyang / Sacramento Zoo

Watch a video of the cub below: 


See more photos after the fold! 

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UPDATE: Sacramento Zoo's Red Panda Is Thriving!


A baby Red Panda born on June 9 at the Sacramento Zoo is thriving under the constant care of his zoo keepers. 

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Photo Credit:  Mike Owyang


The cub, a male, was the first offspring for the zoo's Red Panda pair. When the cub was about two and a half weeks old, the zoo staff observed that the female may not have been providing enough milk for her cub, so they decided to hand-rear the cub, as described here on ZooBorns.

The cub is a voracious eater, consuming about 20% of his body weight every day in four bottle feedings.  Keepers report that he is on track developmentally for his age, and practices his climbing skills on the veterinarians! 

Zoo guests can see the cub being fed twice a day through the window of the zoo's Veterinary Hospital.

Red Pandas are under threat in their native range in the mountains of Nepal and China due to habitat loss.  The name "panda" is derived from a Nepalese word meaning "bamboo eater."

See more photos of the Red Panda cub below the fold.

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Baby Red Panda Thriving at Binghamton Zoo

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New York's Binghamton Zoo excitedly announced the birth of a male Red Panda, the first of its species to be born there. The cub, named Zhin-Li (meaning "treasure"), is steadily gaining weight and showing all signs of thriving. It is the first offspring of mother Mei-Li and father Xiao-Li, paired together as part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan.

"The simple chore of properly socializing them to allow coexistence within the exhibit was a major accomplishment," said David Orndorff, the Binghamton Zoo's Animal Curator. "Add to that that this is the first birth by this female and with a male that has never fathered cubs in the past, shows the dedication and commitment of the Binghamton Zoo's animal care staff." 

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Photo Credit:  Melissa Grippin, Binghamton Zoo 

The Species Survival Plan was created by AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) to ensure the long-term survival of captive species. This baby  will continue in this program and when of age, will be paired with a female to breed at another zoo. The cub represents a "treasure" for the Binghamton Zoo, and also for the whole conservation community. There are roughly 175 Red Pandas located in zoos throughout the United States and Canada, but only about 60 individuals fall under the subspecies Ailurus fulgens refulgens (styani). These Red Pandas are distributed among 23 institutions, including the Binghamton Zoo. 

This story continues, with more pictures of the cub, after the fold:

Continue reading "Baby Red Panda Thriving at Binghamton Zoo" »

A Whole Lotta Nappin' Goin' On -- Red Panda Cub Grows at Zoo Boise

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There's a new Red Panda cub at Zoo Boise. This little male was born on June 15 to first-time parents Dolly and Winston. He has spent all his time in an off-exhibit den with his mother, who has done an excellent job of caring for him. He snoozes a lot, like most newborns do, while he develops more each day. He will grow to be the size of a house cat, though his tail will become big and bushy and add up to an additional 18 inches (46 cm) in length to his body. 

Soon he will make his way out to explore the exhibit for short stints, when visitors can hope to catch a glimpse of him. He is the third Red Panda to be born at the zoo, and the newest addition to the zoo's most "reproductive" year ever. Red Pandas live in the mountains of Nepal and northern Myanmar (Burma), as well as in central China. They forage most actively at dusk and in the evening, and spend most of their time in the trees, even when they nap. 

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Photo Credit: Photos 1, 2, 4,5 : Zoo Boise, Photo 3,6: Monte Stiles

Parents Dolly and Winston are part of the Red Panda Species Survival Program, a breeding program for certain Endangered or Threatened species that helps maintain a genetically diverse, strong animal population within zoos. 

See more pictures after the fold:

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Kolmården Wildlife Park Welcomes Red Panda Cub


The Kolmården Wildlife Park in Sweden welcomed a Red Panda cub on June 10. The female cub, named Pralin, is doing well.

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Despite the name, Red Pandas are more closely related to Raccoons than to Giant Pandas. However, they share many traits with their black and white namesakes. For example, both eat bamboo and have a sesamoid bone, known as a 'fake thumb', used to grasp bamboo. They both live in the temperate bamboo forests of China. Unlike Giant Pandas, Red Pandas also inhabit the foothills of the Himalayas. Red Pandas are currently listed as Vulnerable, due to habitat loss.

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Photo Credit: Kolmården 

Little Red Panda Born at Red River Zoo


The Red River Zoo's new Red Panda, a male named Mattie, was born on June 14. The cub is currently staying in his indoor quarters with Mom. When he gets a few weeks older, he will begin to venture out into the outdoor exhibit area visible to the public. His parents, Dad Yukiko and Mom Shantou, are eight years old and were imported from Japan in 2007 by the Red River Zoo to help increase the genetic diversity of the captive population in the U.S.

The Red River Zoo is a leading breeder of Red Pandas and has bred one-fourth of the captive Chinese Red Panda species in North American zoos. Mattie will serve as an ambassador for the Red River Zoo and a mascot for MATBUS, the city's public bus system.

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Photo Credit: Red River Zoo

More pictures after the fold:

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Baby Red Panda Steadily Growing Strong at Sacramento Zoo

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On June 9, a pair of endangered Red Pandas at the Sacramento Zoo welcomed their first offspring, a male. While the first-time mother was attentive, it seemed she might not have been producing enough milk to adequately feed her cub. After two and a half weeks, discussions between veterinary and animal care staff and the Red Panda SSP Coordinator led to a decision to hand-rear the cub. Red Panda cubs have a high mortality rate (50%) within the first 30 days of life. The staff were hopeful that the cub would thrive with additional attention from keepers and veterinary staff. They gave it a stuffed Mama animal to curl up with and began their work.

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Photo Credit: Photos 1,3,4,5: Sacramento Zoo, Photo 2: Erik Bowker

Now, at five weeks old, the Red Panda cub is progressing well. He currently weighs all of 1 pound (0.45 kg) and has steadily gained strength and mobility. Guests have caught a glimpse of the cub through the window at the Murray E. Fowler Veterinary Hospital, where he is fed at around 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., daily.

Here is the Panda cub at one month old:

And the most recent footage at the age of five weeks!

Adorable Times Two at the Kansas City Zoo

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Two Red Panda cubs were born on June 26 at the Kansas City Zoo. The two male cubs weighed four ounces each just one day after birth. At their two-week checkup, they had more than doubled in size!

Dad Fagan and mom Gaila are keeping their cubs close for warmth and feeding. Youngsters generally stay in the nest for about 90 days. The zoo’s Red Pandas live in an air-conditioned indoor exhibit in the summer, then move outdoors to enjoy the cool winter weather. As Himalayan natives, Red Pandas can tolerate very cold temperatures. Zoo guests can see the male twins on a TV monitor at the exhibit.

Two-year-old Gaila came to Kansas City from the National Zoo at age one. It was recommended by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan that Gaila breed with 13-year-old Fagan. Fagan has been at the Kansas City Zoo for 12 years and fathered one cub in 2006. Cubs are extremely important to the captive population of Red Pandas, because there are only 116 currently in captivity in the United States.

Tiny Red Panda Cubs Are Big News

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The Birmingham Zoo in Alabama is now home to the first Red Panda cubs born in the US this year. Born May 30, the two cubs currently are off-exhibit with mom. This is the first litter for the mother, three-year-old Sorrel and father, four-year-old Shifu. This was a significant birth as Red Pandas are a threatened species with fewer than 2,500 adults left in the world, according to The Birmingham Zoo. 

Sorrel is very protective of the cubs and is nursing regularly. This is very encouraging and staff are working hard to ensure that Sorrel has everything she needs to care for her new family. When born in human care, Red Panda cubs have a 50 percent mortality rate (the mortality rate in the wild is unknown), so it is wonderful news that the first-time mom is caring for her cubs so well.

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Photo Credit: Birmingham Zoo

Red Pandas are quite delicate at birth and stay close to their mothers until they are around three months old. As long as things continue to go well, visitors can expect to see the cubs in the fall when they start to venture away from the den. For now, there is a live monitor of the pandas at the zoo's Red Panda exhibit.

The breeding that led to this birth is part of the American Zoological Association’s Species Survival Plan, a nationally-coordinated effort to save threatened and endangered animals from extinction. In the wild, Red Pandas live in the bamboo forests of China, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Nepal. While they share some habitat with the Giant Panda, the two species are not related. Red Pandas are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Vulnerable, a ranking one step down from Endangered. According to the IUCN, deforestation is the greatest threat to this species. 

UPDATE! Auckland Zoo's Baby Red Panda Gets a Name

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You may have first read about this baby Red Panda from Auckland Zoo HERE on ZooBorns. As a result of a vet check, it was determined that they had a little boy! Born on Christmas Eve, he is the first offspring of three-year-old mom Bo and 12-year-old dad Sagar. He has been healthy and growing at a normal rate. 

The Zoo just wrapped up a naming contest for the cub through Facebook, and the results are in: By an overwhelming majority, the public voted for the name Pabu, which means puff-ball of fluffy.  The other choices had been Nepalese words, since the Red Panda is found in the wild in Nepal. They were: Sundar (meaning beautiful/, Bhushan (adornment), HImal (snow mountain), and Mohan (charming). 


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Photo Credit: Auckland Zoo

The IUCN Red List classifies this animal as Vulnerable. It is threatened by illegal hunting and deforestation. Remaining populations are fast becoming fragmented and isolated from each other. It is uncertain how many remain in the wild today, but estimates suggest it may be as low 2500 individuals. There are close to 500 individuals in zoos worldwide.