Potter Park Zoo’s red panda Maliha gave birth to a cub July 21, 2022. This is Maliha’s second successful litter with the cub’s father Deagan-Reid. Animal care staff monitor mom and the cub daily through a camera mounted in the nest box where they are both resting. Veterinary staff will continue to conduct regular wellness checks in the coming weeks to monitor his growth and development.
“Maliha is doing great, she’s an experienced mother and has been excellent with the newborn,” said Annie Marcum, carnivore area lead keeper. “The cub is actively nursing and growing at a healthy rate”.
This news is exciting for Potter Park Zoo and it’s an even bigger win for conservation of the endangered species. Arriving from the Knoxville Zoo in 2021, Deagan-Reid was paired with Potter Park Zoo female Maliha by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA’s) red panda Species Survival Program, which pair animals based on maintaining genetic diversity. The pair have had two successful litters in two years. With fewer than 205 red pandas in AZA institutions, Maliha’s new cub is a valuable addition to the population.
“We’re fortunate to have another successful red panda birth. Having two successful litters back-to-back is a testament to the hard work, planning, and teamwork at the zoo,” said Animal Care Supervisor Pat Fountain. “Introducing another red panda cub to the SSP is crucial for the species moving forward, we’re glad to be a part of the solution”.
Red panda newborns are born deaf, blind, and are small enough to fit into your palm. It takes over two weeks for cubs to open their eyes, and about two months before they begin venturing out of the nest. While Maliha and her cub will be off exhibit during this time, updates from the animal care team will be shared on Potter Park Zoo’s social media. Guests are welcome to visit Deagan-Reid on exhibit.