Red Panda

Playtime with Pumpkins at Woodland Park Zoo

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Woodland Park Zoo’s twin Red Pandas are four-months-old, and they are now exploring their outdoor backyard. With Halloween around the corner, the cubs were also treated to their first playtime with pumpkins!

The sisters, named Zeya (ZAY-uh) and Ila (EE-la), were born June 19 to mom, Hazel, and dad, Yukiko. They represent the first successful birth of Red Pandas at the zoo in 29 years.

Zeya and Ila, who currently weigh 7 pounds each, have been living with mom off public view in an indoor, climate-controlled space, where the first-time mom can nurse and bond in a quiet environment. A camera in the den has allowed animal care staff to monitor the family to ensure the cubs are thriving and mom is providing appropriate care; human contact has been minimal except for neonatal exams and quick wellness checks as part of the zoo’s exemplary animal welfare program.

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4_2018_10_19 red panda cubs-1Photo Credits: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Recently, Hazel and her cubs have been given daily access to their outdoor yard in the mornings so the cubs can begin to climb trees, lie in their elevated hammock and enjoy the beautiful Seattle fall weather.

The zoo anticipates putting Hazel, Zeya and Ila in the outdoor public exhibit by mid-November/early December. Guests to the zoo can see the zoo’s other Red Panda, a four-year-old male, named Carson, in the Wildlife Survival Zone.

“This is very exciting to see our cubs graduate to the next stage of their development in their outdoor yard,” said Mark Myers, a curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “While they sometimes decide to sleep in, they are usually exploring their yard by mid-morning. They have demonstrated great motor skills and agility so far, always under the watchful eyes of Hazel.”

Hazel and Yukiko were paired under the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, a conservation breeding program across accredited zoos to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of Red Pandas.

Red Pandas share the name of Giant Pandas, but more closely resemble raccoons. Recent studies suggest they are closely related to skunks, weasels and raccoons. An endangered species, fewer than 10,000 Red Pandas remain in their native habitat of bamboo forests in China, the Himalayas and Myanmar, and share part of their range with Giant Pandas. Their numbers are declining due to deforestation, increased agriculture and cattle grazing, and continuing pressure from growing local populations.

Woodland Park Zoo supports the Red Panda Network, whose multi-prong approach aims to conserve this flagship species in Nepal. You can help support the project by adopting a Red Panda through the zoo’s ZooParent Adoption Program.

Fall/winter zoo hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily through April 30. For more information or to become a zoo member, visit www.zoo.org or call 206.548.2500.

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‘It’s a Boy!’ Red Pandas Welcome Cub at Banham Zoo

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Keepers at Banham Zoo are thrilled to announce the latest addition to the zoo, a male Red Panda cub, an extremely valuable addition to the ongoing international efforts to protect this threatened species.

The cub, which is yet to be named, was born this summer to the zoo’s pair of Red Pandas, Jasper and Maggie. The two adult pandas have been together since 2015, producing a female cub in 2016.

In European zoos, Red panda’s usually mate in early spring and will give birth usually to one or two cubs after a gestation period of approximately four months.

Keepers at the zoo were convinced that Maggie was pregnant again this year and closely monitored her behaviour. They were proved correct when the cub was born in late July.

Maggie is doing an excellent job caring for her baby, staying in the nesting box for long periods of time. Red Panda cubs spend the first two to three months inside their nesting box, and although the keepers have decided to take a “hands-off” approach, they have managed to get an occasional glimpse of the infant to ensure that all is well.

The cub has started to explore its surroundings, occasionally venturing out of the nesting box with mum Maggie to the delight of keepers and visitors.

Animal Manager, Mike Woolham said, “We are delighted with our latest addition. The conservation of the animals in our care is of paramount importance to us and we hope that our latest arrival may throw the spotlight on the plight of this species and others under severe threat in South-east Asia”.

Red Pandas are listed as endangered and numbers in the wild are believed to have decreased by 50% in less than 20 years due to massive habitat loss and an increase in human poaching for their meat and beautiful red fur.

The cub will remain with his parents at the zoo for at least a year. Once he reaches maturity the European and International Studbook Coordinator for the species will recommend transferring him to another zoo, where he will most likely join a female to make up a new pair. They will hopefully then produce young of their own, helping to ensure the survival of the species.

 Photo Credits: Banham Zoo

 


Meet Lily the Red Panda Cub

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The Milwaukee County Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a female Red Panda cub on June 6. The baby is the first Red Panda cub ever born at the zoo.

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Red Panda Baby 09-2018-6039 EPhoto Credit: Joel Miller/Milwaukee County Zoo

The video shows Dr. Lily's growth during the first few months of life. 

Since her birth, the cub has remained in a secluded nest box with her mother, Dr. Erin. The cub has been named Dr. Lily, in honor of the zoo’s veterinary resident, Dr. Lily Parkinson. It was Dr. Parkinson who first discovered the cub during an ultrasound on Lily’s mother.

Dr. Lily had her first weight check when she was just three days old. At that time, she weighed ¼ pound, or about as much as a banana. Now nearly four months old, Dr. Lily tips the scales at almost seven pounds.

Lily shares her June 6 birthday with her father, 6-year-old Dash.

Dr. Erin is already proving to be a great mother to her firstborn cub. Throughout Dr. Lily’s first year of life, Dr. Erin will teach her how to climb and gather food. So far, Dr. Lily has mainly relied on mom for milk, but is now nibbling on bamboo and tasting other foods.

In the wild, Red Pandas are found in the mountains of Nepal, northern Myanmar and central China. Red Pandas are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)  due to deforestation, illegal hunting and expanding human settlement. Fewer than 2,500 adult Red Pandas remain in the wild. A high infant mortality rate, especially in the first 30 days of life, makes Lily’s successful birth and rearing important to the survival of this species.

See more photos of Dr.Lily below.

Continue reading "Meet Lily the Red Panda Cub" »


Red Panda Brothers Born at Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Twin Red Panda cubs were born June 21 at Rosamond Gifford Zoo. The two healthy male cubs were born to the Zoo’s resident breeding pair: mother, Tabei, and father, Ketu.

The cubs are currently being hand-raised by keepers. Zoo Director, Ted Fox, shared that Tabei demonstrated some initial difficulty in caring for them on her own. Keepers are providing bottle-feeds every four hours and monitoring the cubs’ intake and weights.

Keepers have named the cubs ‘Loofah’ and ‘Doofah’, from the film, “The Land Before Time” (also a nod to the Zoo’s summer-long Dinosaur Invasion exhibit).

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3_DoofahPhoto Credits: Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Red Pandas are an endangered species, with fewer than 10,000 estimated remaining in the wild in the Himalayan Mountains. They are called pandas because, like the Giant Pandas of China, they eat primarily bamboo. The word “panda” comes from a Nepali word meaning “bamboo eater.”

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is involved in increasing the Red Panda population through the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Red Pandas overseen by its accrediting organization, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The Red Panda SSP works to pair unrelated animals from a diverse gene pool in the interest of producing healthy offspring for survival of the species.

Onondaga County Executive, Joanie Mahoney, praised the Zoo for its success in breeding these endangered animals: “Having recently celebrated National Zookeeper Week, we can say that we are very proud of our Zoo staff and we appreciate their dedication and hard work on behalf of all the animals in their care.”

The new cubs are Tabei’s third set of offspring since 2015. Her first cubs, males Rohan and Pumori, went on to start their own families at the Central Park Zoo and the Erie Zoo. Ravi and Amaya, a male and female born in 2016, are now at the Detroit Zoo and the Sacramento Zoo respectively.

The new cubs will continue to be hand-fed and monitored by zookeepers while being kept in an isolette in the Zoo’s Veterinary Clinic. As they get larger, they will be moved to the glass-enclosed room off the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s upper lobby. According to keepers, they should be ready to move to the Red Panda habitat on the zoo’s Wildlife Trail later this year.


Red Panda Cubs Start to Explore

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Twin Red Panda cubs at Woodland Park Zoo have reached another milestone: stepping outside of their den and exploring their bedroom! The sisters, named Zeya (ZAY-uh) and Ila (EE-la), were born June 19 to mom Hazel and dad Yukiko and are the first successful birth of Red Pandas at the zoo in 29 years.

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Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 3bPhoto Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

ZooBorns previously shared photos of the cubs’ neonatal exam and the announcement of their names.
 
The 2½-month-old cubs, which currently weigh 4 pounds each, and Hazel have been living off public view in an indoor, climate-controlled space where the first-time mom can nurse and bond with her cubs in a quiet environment. A camera in the den has allowed animal care staff to monitor the family to ensure the cubs are thriving and mom is providing appropriate care; human contact has been minimal except for neonatal exams as part of the zoo’s exemplary animal welfare program.
 
During quick wellness checks on the new family, the animal keepers caught the first sightings of the cubs venturing outside of the den and exploring the bedroom. “This is very exciting to see our cubs beginning to explore outside of their den. We can’t confirm how much time they’re spending in the bedroom, but we suspect they’re most active outside the den during nighttime,” said Mark Myers, a curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “This indicates they’re meeting important milestones in their development by increasing their mobility skills, curiosity and navigation within their surroundings. These skills will serve them well when they are introduced to the outdoor exhibit.”
 
The zoo anticipates putting Hazel, Zeya and Ila in the outdoor public exhibit by mid-October/November. Guests visiting the zoo can see the zoo’s other Red Panda, a 4-year-old male named Carson, in the Wildlife Survival Zone

Red Pandas share the name of Giant Pandas, but more closely resemble Raccoons. Recent studies suggest they are closely related to Skunks, Weasels and Raccoons. An Endangered species, fewer than 10,000 Red Pandas remain in their native habitat of bamboo forests in China, the Himalayas and Myanmar, and share part of their range with Giant Pandas. Their numbers are declining due to deforestation, increased agriculture and cattle grazing, and continuing pressure from growing local populations.




Milwaukee County Zoo Celebrates Red Panda Birth

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The Milwaukee County Zoo recently announced the birth of their first Red Panda cub! The yet unnamed female was born June 6, and she now shares a birthday with her father, Dash.

The cub was born to first time mother, “Dr. Erin Curry” (also known as Dr. E.). Mom is 3-years-old and is originally from the Cincinnati Zoo. First time father, Dash, is 6-years-old and originally from the Granby Zoo in Quebec, Canada.

Because the youngster is still getting acclimated to her new surroundings, animal care staff is allowing her plenty of time to become comfortable and bond with mom before her introduction to visitors. It’s the Zoo’s hope she will make her public debut in the next few weeks.

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Red Panda Baby 08-2018-3438 EPhoto Credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

In the wild, Red Pandas live in the mountains of Nepal, northern Myanmar and central China. Red Pandas are considered endangered due to deforestation, poaching and trapping. With an estimated adult population of less than 2,500 and an approximate mortality rate of 86 percent, every Red Panda birth is very important.

Red Pandas are solitary animals, only interacting during mating season. Youngsters develop at a slow rate, spending the first year or more with mom. Blind for the first 21 to 31 days after birth, the cubs are hidden in nests by their mother for the first two to three months. Mothers then teach the cubs how to climb and hunt.

Red Pandas rely on bamboo for most of their diet, specifically the most tender, young shoots and leaves. But, they are only able to extract one-fourth of the nutrients from the bamboo. They can spend up to 13 hours a day searching for and eating bamboo. During the summer months, they supplement their diet with fruit and insects. Cubs stop nursing around 13 to 22 weeks old.

Adult Red Pandas weigh up to 14 pounds and are around 2 feet-long, but their tails add extra length of up to 18-inches! This new addition weighed 166 grams at 3 days old and could fit in the palms of her keeper’s hands! She is now about 2,538 grams (5 pounds) and keepers say it takes both hands to pick her up.

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 this adult coloration around 50 days old, which acts as a camouflage. The fur covering their bodies also covers the pads on their feet. This helps Red Pandas keep the heat in their bodies during the cold winter months.

Zookeepers report that the new cub is doing very well, and first-time mother, Dr. E, is doing a great job raising her first cub. Details of her debut will be coming soon!


Twin Red Pandas Born at Virginia Zoo

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The Virginia Zoo welcomed two male Red Panda cubs in June. Born to two-year-old mom Masu and three-year-old dad Timur, the cubs were born at the Zoo’s Animal Wellness Campus. Red Panda cubs weigh approximately five ounces at birth, but each cub now weighs just over one pound.

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Virginia Zoo Photo 3Photo Credit: Virginia Zoo

Red Panda cubs are particularly vulnerable during their first month of life, and zoo staff members intervene with the cubs as little as possible.

“We wanted to give Masu the best chance possible to successfully birth and raise healthy cubs,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian. “We decided to move Masu to the Wellness Campus while she was still pregnant to give her the privacy and space she needed with as few disturbances and distractions as possible,” Dr. Clabbers added. Red Panda experts have found this species has better success when the mothers are able to give birth and provide the initial few months of care of their cubs off exhibit.

First-time mom Masu gave birth in an indoor, climate-controlled den where she has been nursing and bonding with her cubs in a quiet environment. The den is off view to the public and is monitored by staff. As Masu gets more comfortable allowing people to be near her cubs and the boys can safely navigate the trees and other exhibit features, the three will make their way to the original Red Panda exhibit off the main pathway.

The cubs have not yet been named.

“This is a significant birth for the species as there are less than 10,000 Red Pandas left in the wild,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “There has been a sharp decline in their population due to a loss of nesting trees and food resources in their native region, they are also hunted for their pelts. We are excited for the terrific care Masu has been providing for her cubs and look forward to having them on exhibit later this year,” Bockheim added.

Red Pandas are tree-dwelling mammals native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. Slightly larger than a domestic Cat and with markings similar to Raccoons, Red Pandas have soft, dense reddish-brown and white fur. They feed mainly on bamboo, but also various plant shoots, leaves, fruit, and insects. Red Pandas are shy and solitary except when mating.

Red Pandas are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.


Woodland Park Zoo's Red Panda Sisters Given Names

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The results are in! Names have been chosen for Woodland Park Zoo’s Red Panda sisters.

The first fuzzy cub is now known as Zeya (ZAY-uh), meaning “success” in Burmese, and the second cub has been named Ila (EE-la), meaning “earth” in Sanskrit.

Zeya’s name was chosen by more than 1,600 participants in online voting between three names selected by the zookeepers. Ila’s name was chosen by the Rosauer family (longtime friends and of the zoo).

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Unnamed (2)Photo Credits: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

The Red Panda cubs, like many of the zoo’s other animals, were named to honor the land that they are native to. Red Pandas are indigenous to the Himalayan mountain region that includes parts of Nepal, Myanmar, China and northern regions of India. “Zeya” is derived from the Burmese language, which is the official language of Myanmar. “Ila” can be translated as “earth” and comes from the ancient Sanskrit language from which many modern languages spoken in India are derived.

Continue reading "Woodland Park Zoo's Red Panda Sisters Given Names" »


Rare Glimpse of Red Pandas at Highland Wildlife Park

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A pair of Red Panda cubs was born recently at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park. The duo was welcomed in July by mum, Kitty, and dad, Kevyn.

Keepers say it will be a rare opportunity for visitors to catch glimpses of the two fuzzy cubs. The first four months of their lives will be spent, for the most part, safely tucked in their den with mum.

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Red Panda Kit 3 weeks old 2- credit Corinne Pardey

Red Panda Kit 3 weeks old 1 - credit Corinne PardeyPhoto Credits: RZSS/ Alyson Houston (Images 1,2) / Corinne Pardey (3,4) / Una Richardson (5)

The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. It is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, and insects.

The species has been classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN. Its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression.

Red Panda Kits 6 Day old kits - credit Una Richardson


Red Panda Cubs Get Their Third Checkup

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Woodland Park Zoo’s veterinary team recently performed a third neonatal exam on the zoo’s twin Red Panda cubs. The 5-week-old female cubs, born on June 19, have opened their eyes and weigh just under two pounds each. At birth, they weighed about five ounces each. The parents of the cubs are two-year-old mom Hazel and 13-year-old dad Yukiko.

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Unnamed (1)Photo Credit: John Loughlin/Woodland Park Zoo

We first introduced the twins on ZooBorns shortly after their second neonatal exam last month.

As a first-time mom, Hazel continues to provide attentive care in an indoor, climate-controlled den where she can nurse and bond with her cubs in a quiet environment; the den is off view to zoo guests. Yukiko does not yet have contact with his new family, but introductions will be planned in the near future.

The zoo anticipates putting Hazel and her cubs in their exhibit habitat by mid-October and the community will be invited to participate in a public naming later this summer.

Red Pandas share a name with Giant Pandas, but recent studies suggest they are closely related to Skunks, Weasels and Raccoons. An endangered species, fewer than 10,000 Red Pandas remain in their native habitat of bamboo forests in China, the Himalayas, and Myanmar. They share part of their range with Giant Pandas. Their numbers are declining due to deforestation, increased agriculture and cattle grazing, and continuing pressure from growing human populations.

Woodland Park Zoo supports the Red Panda Network, whose multi-prong approach aims to conserve this flagship species in Nepal.