Red Panda

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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.