Red Panda

Feeding Time for Red Panda Cubs

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Two Red Panda cubs are being hand-reared by keepers after their mother died unexpectedly at the Chattanooga Zoo.

Born on July 10, the cubs would not be fully weaned from their mother’s milk for at least two more months.  The staff feeds the cubs a mashed biscuit diet with a spoon three times a day.   The two male cubs are enthusiastic, if messy, eaters.  They have not yet been named.

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Photo Credit:  Chattanooga Zoo

Zoo keepers report that the cubs are playful, and they have confidence that the cubs will continue to thrive, despite the challenging circumstances.

Red Pandas are native to the Himalayan Mountains, where they inhabit forested foothills.  They feed mainly on bamboo, but also eat eggs, birds, and insects.  Due to habitat loss, poaching, and inbreeding, fewer than 10,000 Red Pandas are believed to survive in the wild.  They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The breeding of Red Pandas in North American zoos is managed by the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which matches individuals for breeding based on their genetic background.  The goal of the SSP is to maximize genetic diversity in zoo-dwelling populations of rare animals. 


“It’s the Great Pumpkin…!”

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Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns are indicative of the fall season…and Halloween.

Zoo Keepers work hard to keep their animals healthy and happy. Enrichment toys and activities are an important tool that Keepers utilize to help in that pursuit. Enrichment items encourage natural behavior and stimulate the senses…and what could be more stimulating, this time of year, than celebrating by tearing into a bright orange pumpkin!

Happy Halloween from ZooBorns!

2_Red pandas Jung and Nima get into the Halloween spirit at Chester Zoo on Pumpkin Day

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4_Amur tiger with pumpkin_Woburn Safari Park

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Image 1: (Lynx) Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Muller

Image 2: “Red Pandas, Jung and Nima, get into the Halloween spirit”/ Chester Zoo

Image 3: (Snow leopard) Woodland Park Zoo

Image 4: (Amur Tiger) Woburn Safari Park

Image 5: Piglets-in-a-pumpkin/ Tierpark Berlin

Image 6: “Andean Bear, Bernie, tucks into honey-coated treats”/ Chester Zoo

Image 7: “Black Jaguar, Goshi, enjoys and early treat”/ Chester Zoo

Images 8, 9: Elephant Pumpkin Stomp/ Denver Zoo

Image 10: (Chimpanzee)/ Detroit Zoo/ Jennie Miller

Image 11: (Bison)/ Detroit Zoo/ Jennie Miller

Image 12: (Giraffe “Mpenzi”)/ Detroit Zoo/ Jennie Miller

Image 13: (Hippo)/ Woodland Park Zoo/ Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Image 14: (Tiger)/ Woodland Park Zoo/ Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Image 15: (Maned Wolf)/ Woodland Park Zoo/ Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

More adorable Halloween pics, below the fold!

Continue reading "“It’s the Great Pumpkin…!”" »


Chicago’s Other Cubs Gear-Up for ‘Fall Fest’

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The Chicago Cubs baseball team is currently on track for their first World Series appearance in 71 years, and fans of the team will definitely have a big win at Lincoln Park Zoo this weekend (October 21-23, 2016) for the zoo’s Fall Fest. The event also offers a chance to catch a glimpse of Chicago’s other famous cubs…the zoo’s Red Panda cubs, Sheffield and Waveland (named after Wrigley Field’s cross-streets).

Born June 24, the pair of Red Panda cubs, Waveland (female) and Sheffield (male) have spent the last few months behind the scenes in their nest box. The cubs have grown more independent and have ventured out on exhibit intermittently as they continue to acclimate to ‘the friendly confines’ of their ivy-covered habitat.

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4_20161004_CB_Red Panda_waveland_25Photo Credits: Lincoln Park Zoo /Christopher Bijalba

Thanks to a breeding recommendation from the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), which cooperatively manages the endangered population, these cubs are the second set in two years for Lincoln Park Zoo’s breeding pair: Leafa (dam) and Phoenix (sire). Last year, the zoo celebrated its first-ever Red Panda cub litter including, Clark (male) and Addison (female), now thriving at San Diego Zoo and Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo, respectively.

“In the last year, Red Pandas have gone from a threatened to endangered species due to human impacts including habitat loss,” said Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout. “These playful, curious, arboreal cubs here at the zoo serve as ambassadors to encourage learning and inspire visitors to help protect this species in the wild.”

For more information on Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest or the Red Panda cubs, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lincolnparkzoo/  

...and the Zoo's website: www.lpzoo.org

More pics below the fold! 

Continue reading "Chicago’s Other Cubs Gear-Up for ‘Fall Fest’" »


Now Hear This: Red Panda Cubs Make Their Debut

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A Red Panda cub appears to give its twin an earful as they make their media debut last week at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.   The cubs were born on June 27, but they’ve still got a lot of growing to do before they enter their exhibit habitat to meet zoo guests.

The cubs, one male and one female, are named Ravi, which means “king,” and Amiya, translated as “delight.” Second-time mother Tabei has been caring for the cubs in an off-exhibit nest box since their birth. Their father, Ketu, is a second-time dad.

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RGZ Red Panda Cubs 2016
RGZ Red Panda Cub 2016 -4Photo Credit:  Maria Simmons



Zoo keepers have been conducting regular weight and wellness checks to monitor the cubs’ growth and health. Daily observations will continue until they are weaned around five to six months of age.  Right now, the cubs have opened their eyes and can move about, but aren’t quite ready to climb out of the nest box. 

In the wild, Red Panda cubs begin leaving the nest for short periods when they are about three months old. 

As an accredited zoo, The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Red Pandas.

“The successful birth of these cubs is important to the North American population and comes after careful planning and preparation by our animal staff on the recommendation of the SSP. We are thrilled to share this good news and remain optimistic that the cubs will continue to thrive under their mother’s care,” says Zoo Director Ted Fox.

Red Pandas are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with less than 10,000 individuals remaining in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The loss of nesting trees and bamboo due to deforestation has caused a decline in their numbers.

 


Red Panda Cub Has First Checkup at Paradise Park

14222351_770555003047491_7428195131441096415_nPhoto and Video Credits: Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary

Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary, in Cornwall, UK, recently gave their new Red Panda cub his first vet check.

The cub’s keeper, Becky Waite, remarked, “This little cutie was quite a handful. The vet check went very well and I am happy to report that he’s a boy and is very healthy! He now has a microchip for lifelong identification.”

The cub, which has been named Koda (meaning 'little bear'), was born on July 10th to mum, Jai-Li, and dad, Lang Za. This is mum’s seventh cub; she has had three sets of twins in previous years, but this year she’s had just one.

Koda is now two months old, and in another month, he should achieve his full adult coloring. He will also start eating solid foods at that point, weaning at around six to eight months of age.

Director Alison Hales commented, “Paradise Park participates in the Red Panda European captive breeding programme, and this cub is a valuable addition. Swapping with other collections keeps the captive population healthy in case there might be a need for reintroductions in future years.

“One of our cubs from last year, Rusty, recently moved Krefeld Zoo in Germany to join a mate, and at the same time, we welcomed Suri who came from Port Lympne Reserve, the wildlife sanctuary in Kent.

“After a successful trial at the beginning of 2016, we plan to re-introduce Red Panda Experiences for 2017. These events raise money for the Red Panda Network, which is committed to the conservation of wild Red Pandas and their habitat, through the education and empowerment of local communities. So keep an eye on our website www.paradisepark.org.uk and Facebook/Twitter pages for more news.”

Fans can keep an eye on Koda and his Red Panda family via the Park’s live nest-webcam: http://paradisepark.org.uk/events-and-news/webcams/

 

In the wild, the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) inhabits the Himalayan mountains of China, India and Nepal, where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting.

They live among bamboo forests and spend much of their time in trees. The Red Panda communicates with squeaks, chattering noises and chipmunk-like sounds.

Although it shares the same name, the Red Panda is not related to the Giant Panda. In fact, the Red Panda is not related to any other animals, making it unique.

Red Pandas are solitary animals, and they only really ever come together to breed. As with the Giant Panda, female Red Pandas are only fertile for just one day a year and can delay implantation until conditions are favorable. They give birth to between one and four young at a time, and the cubs are born with pale fluffy fur, which darkens to the distinctive red coloration of the adults over the first three months.

Cubs stay with their mother until the next litter is born the following summer. Males rarely help raise their young.

About two-thirds of their food intake is made up of bamboo. Bamboo is not the most nutritious of foods, so they have to eat a lot of it to survive. As bamboo is relatively low in calories, Red Pandas tend to spend much of their time either eating or sleeping.

The species has been classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List since 2008. The global population is estimated at about 10,000 individuals, with a decreasing population trend.

One way to help is by joining the www.redpandanetwork.org to spread the word, adopting a Red Panda or sponsoring a Forest Guardian. These guardians conduct awareness-building workshops in local villages and schools, do research for the Red Panda Network and establish community-based protected areas.


Red Panda Double-Trouble at Longleat

1_Baby red pandas at Longleat PIC Ian Turner

A rare set of Red Panda twins has been born at Longleat. It’s only the second time the species has bred successfully at the Wiltshire, UK wildlife attraction.

Twin Red Panda births are extremely rare and keepers are delighted with the pair’s progress. The new arrivals are doubly welcome, as their parents are a key factor in the ongoing success of the European Endangered Species Programme for the Red Panda, due to their diverse genetics.

Dad Ajenda (which means ‘King of the mountain’) arrived at Longleat from Germany in 2012, and mum Rufina (meaning ‘Red-haired’) arrived from Italy just over a year later.

“We’re delighted with how well Rufina is looking after the young cubs, and both mother and babies are doing brilliantly,” said Keeper Sam Allworthy.

“Cubs don’t tend to start venturing out on their own for the first three months, and Rufina, like all Red Panda mums, regularly moves the cubs to different nesting areas. This is perfectly natural behavior but makes keeping track of the babies, or even confirming what sex they are, somewhat problematic for us, although we are pretty sure both babies are female,” she added.

The species has been recently re-classified as ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); meaning populations are continuing to decline. An ‘Endangered’ species is one which faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future.

2_Close up of one of the red panda twins at Longleat PIC Ian Turner

3_Red panda cub twins at Longleat PIC Ian Turner

4_Mother and baby red pandas at Longleat PIC Ian TurnerPhoto Credits: Ian Turner/Longleat

In the wild, the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) inhabits the Himalayan mountains of China, India and Nepal, where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting.

They live among bamboo forests and spend much of their time in trees. The Red Panda communicates with squeaks, chattering noises and chipmunk-like sounds.

Although it shares the same name, the Red Panda is not related to the Giant Panda. In fact, the Red Panda is not related to any other animals, making it unique.

Red Pandas are solitary animals, and they only really ever come together to breed. As with the Giant Panda, female Red Pandas are only fertile for just one day a year and can delay implantation until conditions are favorable. They give birth to between one and four young at a time, and the cubs are born with pale fluffy fur, which darkens to the distinctive red coloration of the adults over the first three months.

About two-thirds of their food intake is made up of bamboo. Bamboo is not the most nutritious of foods, so they have to eat a lot of it to survive. As bamboo is relatively low in calories, Red Pandas tend to spend much of their time either eating or sleeping. Keepers at Longleat supplement the diet with a mix of fruits, eggs and the occasional insects, along with a special type of bamboo cake, which the Pandas are especially fond of.

Red Panda Mum, Rufina:

5_Red panda mum Rufina at Longleat PIC Ian Turner


Sweet Red Panda Sisters at Denver Zoo

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Denver Zoo welcomed the birth of two Red Pandas on June 6. The female cubs, named Lali and Masu, are currently in a nesting box and are being cared for by their mother, Faith.

On rare occasion, Zoo guests may see the mother bring the cubs outside the nesting box. However, the cubs will remain mostly behind the scenes until September, when they’re more developed and ready to fully join their father, Hamlet, in the Red Panda exhibit.

Zookeepers are keeping a close eye on Lali and Masu; Zoo veterinarians perform regular exams to check weight, temperature and overall wellness.

In their first weeks of life, the cubs were not gaining weight or regulating their body temperatures. Both were diagnosed with pneumonia and started on daily tube feedings, antibiotics and fluids. They slowly began gaining weight and recovering, and are now off of treatment and doing well under the care of their mother. Recently they began opening their eyes but, as newborns do, they sleep most of the day and night.

This is a first litter for both parents. Faith, the mother, was born in June 2014, and dad, Hamlet, was born July 2013. Faith made her way to Denver from Trevor Park Zoo, and Hamlet arrived from Toronto Zoo, last year, under breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan.

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Red_panda_cubs_03Photo Credits: Denver Zoo

In the wild, the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) inhabits the Himalayan mountains of China, India and Nepal, where they are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting. They are currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The Red Panda communicates with squeaks, chattering noises and chipmunk-like sounds.

Although it shares the same name, the Red Panda is not related to the Giant Panda. In fact, the Red Panda is not related to any other animals, making it unique.

As with the Giant Panda, female Red Pandas are only fertile for just one day a year and can delay implantation until conditions are favorable. They give birth to between one and four young at a time, and the cubs are born with pale fluffy fur, which darkens to the distinctive red coloration of the adults over the first three months.

Red Pandas, like Giant Pandas, have very specialized diet requirements and eat a large amount of bamboo daily.

Red Pandas are part of the Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) in zoos around the world. GSMP is allied with field conservation efforts for animals around the world.


Panda Pair Goes to the Vet

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Two seven-week-old endangered Red Panda cubs had their first visit to the veterinarian at Australia’s Perth Zoo.

Though the zoo staff has kept a watchful eye on the cubs since their December 8 birth, this is the first time the red pandas received a hands-on health check.  During the exam, the cubs got a quick health assessment, then had their body condition, eyes, teeth, ears, and weight checked by the veterinary staff. 

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Panda-cubs-8Photo Credit:  Perth Zoo

The Red Pandas are a part of the Global Species Management Program, where zoos around the world actively collaborate to prevent the species from becoming extinct.  Including the two new arrivals, 18 cubs have been successfully reared at Perth Zoo since 1997. 

In the next few weeks, the Red Panda cubs will start venturing out of the nest box.  Until now, they’ve been in the nest box with their mother, Anusha.   “Anusha is doing a fantastic job rearing her cubs. She’s being really protective and attentive, just what we want to see as she cares for her young who are still tucked up in their nestbox,” said Senior Keeper Becky Thomasson.

Red Pandas, which range across the Himalayan mountains and foothills of northern India, China, Nepal and Bhutan, are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is uncertain how many Red Pandas remain in the wild today, but estimates suggest numbers may be as low as 2,500 individuals.

Red Pandas are threatened by illegal hunting and deforestation of their wild habitat.  Remaining populations are fast becoming fragmented and isolated from each other.

 


Endangered Red Panda Cubs Are a Living Legacy

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Auckland Zoo started the New Year celebrating the arrival of two Nepalese Red Panda cubs. The twins were born just after 3am on January 14, 2016. According to staff, everything is going well with mum and the cubs.

The two are an extremely valuable addition to the international breeding programme for this endangered species.

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4_12792216_10153453714196984_7060545283068029138_oPhoto Credits: Auckland Zoo

 

 

"By watching the nest box cameras we've set up, we can see they have both been suckling. We couldn't ask for a better mum in Bo," said Carnivore's team leader Lauren Booth.

The twins are the fifth and sixth offspring of six-year-old mum Bo (who arrived at Auckland Zoo in mid-2012) and the last of 15-year-old Sagar, who was euthanized in December 2015.

"The average lifespan of a Red Panda is eight to 12 years, so Sagar reached a great old age for a Red Panda, but due to his age he had developed a spinal condition that was at the point where treatment was not able to increase his quality of life," says Lauren.

"Ever since arriving from Darjeeling Zoo in 2010, he had an amazing personality. He's left a great legacy within the region fathering six cubs over the course of three years. With these two being the last of his legacy with Bo, it was nice to have this positive to focus on as we said a difficult goodbye."

Lauren says that Red Pandas develop slowly and are dependent on Mum for at least three months, so it will be some time before visitors see the cubs venturing out of their nest box and around the enclosure with Bo.

"We're keeping a regular watch on the cubs, but taking a very hands-off approach so Bo can continue to do the great job she's doing, and we minimize any potential stress for her," she says.

Affectionately called 'little fluffs' by the Zoo’s keepers, the pair received their first weigh-in and checkup mid-February. They are being weighed weekly and keepers say they are both doing really well!

Visit Auckland Zoo's facebook page​ for further details and updates about the cubs.

Continue reading "Endangered Red Panda Cubs Are a Living Legacy" »


Red Panda Twins Debut at Prospect Park Zoo

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Two Red Panda cubs, one male and one female, were born at the WCS’s (Wildlife Conservation Society) Prospect Park Zoo this summer and have made their public debut.

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3_Julie Larsen Maher_2550_Styans Red Panda_DIST_PPZ_11 02 15_hrPhoto Credits: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS

 WCS has a successful history breeding Red Pandas at the Bronx, Central Park, and Prospect Park Zoos as part of the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums designed to enhance the genetic viability and demographic stability of animal populations in accredited zoos.

The Red Pandas at the Prospect Park Zoo, in Brooklyn NY, are a subspecies from the eastern portion of the Himalayas, known as Styan’s Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens styani). Their native habitat is, more specifically, southern China and northern Burma. The subspecies at the Bronx Zoo and Central Park Zoo---Western Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens)---is found in the western part of their Himalayan range, particularly Nepal, Assam, Sikkim, and Bhutan.

Styan’s Red Panda has been distinguished in some studies as having a longer winter coat, bigger skull, more strongly curved forehead, and darker coloring than the Western Red Panda.

Female Red Pandas are only fertile for just one day a year and can delay implantation until conditions are favorable. They give birth to between one and four young at a time, and the cubs are born with pale fluffy fur, which becomes coarser and darkens to the distinctive red coloration of the adults over the first three months. The cubs reach adulthood at around 18 months.

Red Pandas have an adaptation on their wrists that acts much like a thumb and enables them to grasp food items like bamboo as well as tree branches.

Red Pandas are listed as “Endangered” by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss caused by deforestation for timber, fuel and agricultural use. Despite international efforts, their population in the wild has plausibly declined by 50% over the last three generations (about 18 years).

WCS works in China and Myanmar to help save Red Pandas and other Asian wildlife.