Red Panda

Auckland Zoo Welcomes Red Panda Twins

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Auckland Zoo in New Zealand is celebrating the birth of Nepalese Red Panda twins, two very valuable additions to the international breeding program for this threatened species.

The two cubs were born on January 3, each weighing approximately 100 grams. They are the second and third offspring of four-year-old mum Bo and 13-year-old Sagar, who just over a year ago produced their first-born, male Pabu. Sagar, who was relocated from India's Darjeeling Zoo in 2010, contributes a particularly valuable new bloodline into the Australasian region.

"These births are fantastic news, both for Australasia and for the wider Global Species Management Plan through which Red Panda are managed. We're absolutely delighted Bo has had two healthy cubs and that she's proving once again to be such a confident and attentive mother," says acting Carnivore Team Leader Lauren Booth.

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Photo credits: Auckland Zoo

See video:

"Following Pabu's birth, we've learnt to read Bo's behavior well so we can gauge the best time to check on and weigh the cubs to track their progress, but otherwise remain hands-off. They have now opened their eyes and are moving about in the nest box a little more, and will sometimes 'huff' at us. Their weights have shot up to 403 grams and 423 grams respectively - above average, so we know they're getting plenty to eat, but they still have a lot more growing to do!"

Booth says like one-year-old Pabu, who will relocate to another zoo in Australia within the next six months, the yet-to-be named and sexed cubs will also in time leave Auckland Zoo to contribute to the international breeding program.

"As zoos we work together to ensure genetic diversity is achieved for insurance populations like the Red Panda - which is vital, but it is an insurance policy, not a solution. Increasingly, we're part of conservation efforts in the wild. Auckland Zoo continues to grow its support of Red Panda Network, whose outstanding community education and forest guardianship programs in eastern Nepal (key Red Panda territory) are playing a vital role in helping protect this species that's threatened by habitat loss and poaching."

 See and learn more after the fold!

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Help Name Dublin Zoo's Red Panda Twins!

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Dublin Zoo's twin Red Panda cubs, born on July 14, are just starting to venture outside of their den at thee months old. The thriving cubs have a very strong bond with their parents, Angelina and Chota. The twins, one male and one female, weighed approximately .3 pounds (150 grams) at birth, but are growing steadily.

Team Leader Eddie O’Brien says, “Red pandas are endangered in the wild so we are over the moon that this is the third litter born to Angelina and Chota. The cubs are both doing very well and getting more adventurous and confident.”

Dublin Zoo is hosting a naming contest for the pair on their FaceBook page. They are looking for names that celebrate the Red Panda's Asian origin. To submit your ideas, just post a comment here

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6 red pandaPhoto credits: Patrick Bolger / Dublin Zoo

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. They also have fur on the soles of their feet to prevent them from slipping on wet branches. 

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.

Meet Lincoln, the Red Panda Cub

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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. 

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See a video of the cub in his nursery:


See and read more after the fold.

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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:

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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!