Two Red Panda cubs were born this spring at Austria’s Zoo Salzberg, the first birth of this species at the zoo in more than 13 years.
Photo Credit: Zoo Salzberg
The cubs were born to parents Banja and Eros, but are now being hand-reared by the staff after the loss of female Banja in July.
Under the care of zoo keepers, the cubs are developing well and now have their eyes open and weigh about one pound each.
Red Panda cubs typically emerge from the nest box at 12 weeks old, and are weaned at around five to six months of age.
Native to mountain forests in China, Nepal, and Myanmar, Red Pandas are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Loss of habitat, caused by a near doubling of the human population in the region in the past 30-40 years, is the primary threat to the species. As their forest habitat is broken into smaller and smaller chunks, the risk of inbreeding within smaller populations increases.
These two cubs will be an important part of the worldwide effort to maintain a genetically diverse Red Panda population within zoos.