Red Panda

For The Second Time In Its History, The Idaho Falls Zoo Has Welcomed Red Panda Cubs

For the second time in its history, the Idaho Falls Zoo has welcomed red panda cubs to its zoo family!

On the morning of July 1, 2021, a zookeeper checking on the pandas early in the morning heard several squeaks and squeals when they entered Marvin and Linda’s off-exhibit nesting space.

Two healthy female cubs were born to their mother, Linda, and father, Marvin!


Red Panda Cubs Born At The Potawatomi Zoo

South Bend, IN (Monday, July 26, 2021) The Potawatomi Zoo is excited to announce the birth of two female red panda cubs, born on June 17, 2021, to mother Maiya, age 7, and father Justin, age 9.  This breeding was part of a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP).

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Zoo staff watched the first few hours of the cubs’ lives from closed-circuit cameras while first-time mother Maiya got used to caring for them. In order to give Maiya a quieter, less stressful space, the red panda habitat was blocked from public access, and Justin was moved to another area behind the scenes.

In the first twenty-four hours, Zoo staff weighed the cubs and determined that one was smaller than the other and seemed to have respiratory difficulty. After discussion with the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, the decision was made to remove the smaller cub to be hand-reared by animal care staff and leave the larger cub with Maiya. The goal is to eventually reintroduce the smaller cub to Maiya, once it has gained weight and seems to be strong enough.

Within the last three weeks, both cubs have gained weight and seem to be thriving. The Zoo is cautiously optimistic, although the mortality rate for red panda cubs is nearly 50% and even higher for hand-reared cubs.

Breeding season for red pandas is between January and March. They can have one to four offspring. In the wild, red pandas give birth in tree hollows. At the Zoo, Maiya’s nest box was adapted to be smaller to better fit this natural instinct.

Red panda cubs are born with their eyes and ears closed; they open within three weeks. At birth, red panda cubs are grey and wooly. Their reddish guard hairs start to appear after two weeks.

Red pandas are indigenous to a narrow geographical area stretching across the eastern Himalayas and southern China. Their physical structure, like their thick coat and furred feet, as well as their low metabolic rate, make them well-adapted to cool-weather environments. Red pandas are part of the order Carnivora due to their digestive system structure, although because of their natural environment, the species has adapted to largely consuming bamboo and shoots.


Cast Your Vote For "Baby Red's" Name!

 

In the late afternoon of Tuesday, July 14, 2020 The Toronto Zoo welcomed an endangered female red panda cub, affectionately known as #BabyRed, and they need YOUR help to give her a name! Beginning Saturday, September 19, 2020 – in celebration of International Red Panda Day - through Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 11:59 pm vote at torontozoo.com for your favorite from the selected names below:

Ada - meaning first daughter, happy, prosperous, adored
Adira - meaning strong
Apple - mom's favorite treat
Kenna - meaning born from fire

ZooBorns will cast a vote on your behalf as well! Watch this behind-the-scenes "A Day In The Life Of A Keeper" video and vote in the comments. We'll tally up the votes and submit the most popular name to Toronto Zoo.


Meet Keti, An Adorable Baby Red Panda

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Over the years, Detroit Zoo officials have had the pleasure of caring for a number of adorable babies, but in the opinion of Dr. Ann Duncan, director of Animal Health at DZG, their current nursery resident – a female red panda cub – is arguably the most adorable animal in Detroit Zoo history.  She was born July 6, and weighed 112 grams (around 4 ounces), a good weight for a red panda cub.  While the cub’s mother Ash was pregnant, she allowed officials to ultrasound her abdomen while she happily ate treats, so they knew she was pregnant with a single cub that was growing well.  Ash delivered the baby with no problems, and showed the newborn lots of attention, but this was her first pregnancy, and she didn’t have all of the skills needed to raise the cub.  Red panda cubs have been hand-reared at several zoos, including the Detroit Zoo, and they had prepared in advance to care for the panda cub, just in case.  A hand-rearing manual that compiles collective experiences of zoo professionals was used to determine the formula and feeding schedule and help to develop a care plan.

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Delightful Duo of Red Panda Cubs for Chester Zoo

1_Adorable red panda twins born at Chester Zoo have first health check up (11)

Chester Zoo’s two Red Panda cubs have been revealed as a boy and a girl, during their first ever health check-up.

The precious twelve-week-old twins, classed by conservationists as endangered in the wild, were born on June 22 to mum, Nima, and dad, Koda, who have kept them tucked up in their nest boxes since birth.

Now, specialist vets and keepers have had their very first look at the delightful duo, examining the pair during the health check, where they were weighed, sexed and vaccinated. Each of the fluffy youngsters was given a full, clean bill of health.

James Andrewes, Assistant Team Manager at the zoo, said, “These Red Panda twins are wonderful, important new additions to the carefully managed breeding programme for the species, which is working to increase the safety-net population in Europe as numbers in the wild continue to decline. Happily, both cubs are developing very well indeed and the health MOTs we’ve been able to perform confirmed that mum Nima is clearly doing a great job of caring for them.”

James continued, “We also discovered the genders of each of the cubs - one male and one female - and returned them to their mum as soon as we’d finished giving them a quick once over. Nima took them straight back to her nest and it’ll be a few weeks now until the cubs start to develop the confidence to come out and explore by themselves. Before they’re able to stand on their own feet, it is though possible that some lucky people will have the occasional glimpse of Nima carrying them from nest to nest by the scruffs of their necks.”

2_Adorable red panda twins born at Chester Zoo have first health check up (4)

3_Adorable red panda twins born at Chester Zoo have first health check up (20)

4_Adorable red panda twins born at Chester Zoo have first health check up (2)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Red Pandas are found in the mountainous regions of Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar and southern China where their wild number is estimated at fewer than 10,000 – a 40% decline over the past 50 years.

This decrease is a direct result of human actions, such as widespread habitat destruction, trapping for the illegal pet trade and poaching for their iconic red fur – which in some countries is used to make hats for newly-weds as a symbol of happy marriage.

Conservationists at Chester Zoo have called on the public help to fight the illegal wildlife trade that is driving species to extinction around the world. People can report any suspicious activity they may spot, online or on holiday, via the zoo’s online illegal wildlife trade reporting form: www.chesterzoo.org/illegalwildlifetrade    

In recent years, Chester Zoo has been fighting for the future of the Red Panda through habitat-focused conservation projects in the Sichuan Mountains of China, where they can be found among the bamboo forests.

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Red Panda Triplets Born at Virginia Zoo

Virginia Zoo Red Panda 4

The Virginia Zoo announced the birth of triplet Red Panda cubs to Masu, a three-year-old female, and four-year-old dad Timur. The three cubs, two males and one female, were born off-exhibit at the Zoo’s Animal Wellness Campus on June 18, 2019. Red Panda cubs weigh approximately five ounces at birth, and by two months of age, the cubs each weighed just over one pound. The zoo announced the births in late August.

Virginia Zoo Red Panda 2
Virginia Zoo Red Panda 2
Virginia Zoo Red Panda 2Photo Credit: Virginia Zoo

“Having Red Panda triplets is a unique situation,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian. “It’s a lot of work for mom to care for three newborns, but Masu is doing a great job caring for the triplets and all three have been thriving.”

Masu, who had her first litter of cubs last year, gave birth in an indoor, climate-controlled den where she has been nursing and bonding with her cubs in this quiet environment. The den is not viewable by zoo guests and is monitored by Zoo Keepers and Animal Care Staff. Red Panda cubs typically remain in the nest with mom for about three months, even in the wild.

Masu and the cubs will move back to the Red Panda exhibit later this fall when Keepers feel the little ones can confidently navigate the trees and other exhibit features.

“Our Animal Care team had a great strategy last year in moving Masu to the Animal Wellness Campus while she was still pregnant, providing privacy for her first birth experience. She took great care of her cubs last year, which is why we opted to do the same thing again this time around,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo.

The zoo auctioned naming rights for the cubs, but they have not yet announced the names.

Red Pandas are tree-dwelling animals found in forested mountain habitat in Myanmar, Nepal, India, Bhutan, Tibet and China. While they share the same name as Giant Pandas, the two species are not closely related. Red Pandas are the only living member of their taxonomic family. Slightly larger than a domestic Cat and with markings similar to a Raccoon, Red Pandas have soft, dense reddish-brown and white fur. They feed mainly on bamboo, but also eat plant shoots, leaves, fruit and insects. Red Pandas are shy and solitary except when mating or raising offspring.

Red Pandas are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding due to isolated populations contribute to the decline. There are fewer than 10,000 mature individuals estimated to remain in the wild.

 


Zoo Welcomes Triple Threat of Cuteness

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It’s three times the cuteness at the Kansas City Zoo’s ‘Tiger Trail’. Red Panda parents, Randy and Kate, welcomed three cubs on July 11.

According to the zoo, the youngsters will stay in the nest box for a few months, but guests may be able to get a glimpse of them on a monitor outside the exhibit.

Kate and Randy are both first-time parents. Although it’s pretty rare to have three cubs born at once, Mom is said to be doing a great job caring for them. Just 24 hours after birth, a neonatal exam was performed. Red Pandas typically have high mortality rates, but the three cubs are doing well thanks to Kate and her caregivers. The smallest of the cubs has been receiving supplemental feedings from zookeepers to ensure that it gains weight at a healthy rate.

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4_69251685_10155961363771377_2729838298024378368_oPhoto Credits: Kansas City Zoo

Adult Red Pandas grow to be about the size of a house cat. They have mostly white fur at birth, but it soon turns a reddish-brown color when they are around 50 days old. In the wild, Red Pandas often move their cubs to ensure safety. At the Kansas City Zoo, Kate has three nest boxes behind the scenes so she is able to move the cubs around to whichever she thinks is the best at that time. Guests may occasionally see them on exhibit when she is moving the cubs from one nest box to another. She will keep them in the nest box for three to four months. They will likely make their exhibit debut around October.

There is a camera on the nest boxes so zookeepers can keep an eye on the cubs. Zoo visitors can check out this same view on a monitor in front of the Red Panda exhibit on Tiger Trail. The cubs’ sexes are unknown at this point. All three cubs’ eyes are now open, and they are also beginning to vocalize when keepers make their daily checks.


Milwaukee County Zoo Welcomes Second Red Panda

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The Milwaukee County Zoo announced the birth of a female Red Panda cub.

The new cub, named Kiki, was born June 7 to mother, Dr. Erin Curry, and father, Dash. This is the pair’s second cub; she is part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), which helps to maintain genetic diversity within Red Panda populations in AZA-accredited zoos. Dr. Erin is a very attentive mother, and Kiki is developing as expected.

Kiki weighed 160 grams two days after birth and, and at a little more than one month old, weighed approximately 906 grams. Her most recent reported weight was 1,192 grams at 46 days old.

3_Red Panda Baby 06-2019-4280 E (3 weeks)Photo Credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

Zookeepers comment that Kiki spends most of her time eating and sleeping, and that she’s “adorable.” She is currently developing off exhibit, but should be visible to guests at the Red Panda habitat sometime in September.

Blind for the first 21-to-31 days after birth, cubs are safely hidden in nests for the first 2 to 3 months. The Zoo’s new cub has relied on mom for milk, and will stay with her mother for about one year. Then, she’ll learn important life skills, such as hunting and climbing.

Dr. Erin and Dash had their first cub, Dr. Lily Parkinson, in June 2018. Dr. Lily was the first Red Panda cub born at the Zoo. She was transferred to the Nashville Zoo last spring as recommended by the Red Panda SSP.

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 adult coloration at around 50 days old, which acts as a camouflage in their natural surroundings.

In the wild, they live in the mountains of Nepal, northern Myanmar and central China. Red Pandas are considered endangered due to deforestation, poaching, and trapping. Reliable population numbers are difficult to find due to their secretive nature, but it is estimated that only around 10,000 individuals exist in the wild. Because of this low number, every birth is very important.


Red Panda Brothers Practice Their Climbing Skills

1_red panda kits Pokhara and ShimlaFour-month-old Red Panda kits, Pokhara and Shimla, have begun to venture outside and try out their newfound climbing skills at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park.

Born in July, the brothers first began spending time outside their den under the watchful eye of mum Kitty.

2_red panda kits Pokhara and Shimla

3_red panda kits Pokhara and Shimla

4_red panda kits Pokhara and ShimlaPhoto Credits: RZSS/Alyson Houston

The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. It is classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. The wild population is estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding.

5_red panda kits Pokhara and Shimla


Red Panda Twins Debut at Belfast Zoo

1_However  red panda numbers are declining dramatically due to habitat loss and illegal hunting for their fur.

Belfast Zoo is celebrating the birth of endangered twin Red Panda cubs! The pair was born to parents, Chris and Vixen. Chris arrived at Belfast Zoo, from Beekse Bergen Safari Park in the Netherlands, in 2013. As part of a collaborative breeding programme, he was joined by Vixen (who arrived from Dresden Zoo in April 2017). The pair hit it off straight away and after a gestation period of approximately 135 days, Vixen gave birth to two healthy female cubs on 19 June 2018.

Zoo curator, Julie Mansell, said, “Red Panda cubs are born blind and develop quite slowly. They therefore spend the first few months in the den. It is for this reason that, despite being born back in June, the twins have only recently started to venture outside. Over the last few weeks the twins have become more adventurous and visitors will hopefully get the chance to spot our colourful little arrivals as they start exploring their habitat!”

2_Vixen gave birth to two healthy female cubs on 19 June 2018.  Red panda cubs are born blind and develop slowly.  They spend the first few months in the den.

3_Over the last few weeks the twins have become more adventurous and visitors will hopefully get the chance to spot the colourful arrivals.

4_The Nepalese term for the species ‘nigalya ponya’ which translates as ‘bamboo footed’ and refers to their bamboo diet.Photo Credits: Belfast Zoo

Red Pandas are also known as ‘lesser’ panda or ‘firefox’. It is believed that their name comes from the Nepalese term for the species ‘nigalya ponya’ which translates as ‘bamboo footed’ and refers to their bamboo diet. It was originally thought that this species was related to the raccoon family or even the other bamboo eater, the Giant Panda. They have since been classified as a unique species in their own family, called Ailuridae. Red Panda spend most of their time in the trees. Their sharp claws make them agile climbers and they use their long, striped tails for balance.

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