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Zoo welcomes ‘significant birth’ of red panda female cub

The Milwaukee County Zoo announced the birth of a new red panda cub at the zoo.
The Milwaukee County Zoo announced the birth of a new red panda cub at the zoo.(Milwaukee County Zoo)
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:28 PM PDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:58 PM PDT
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MILWAUKEE (Gray News) - The Milwaukee County Zoo added another baby this month as it welcomed a red panda.

The female cub is the third for mom and dad and is part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan. The zoo says the plan helps maintain genetic diversity within red panda populations in accredited zoos.

A zoo spokesperson said the unnamed cub was born on June 12 in an off-exhibit area, in a secluded and quiet nest box with keepers monitoring the area with special cameras.

The cub weighed 144 grams 24 hours after being born, and on the second day, keepers recorded a weight of 196 grams.

The Milwaukee County Zoo announced the birth of a new red panda cub at the zoo.
The Milwaukee County Zoo announced the birth of a new red panda cub at the zoo.(Milwaukee County Zoo)

Keepers report the cub spends almost the entire time together in the nest box with its mom, who is an experienced mother and is attentive and nurturing toward the cub.

Red pandas are also attentive mothers in the wild, keeping the cubs hidden in a nest for the first two to three months, according to the zoo.

The cub currently relies on its mother for milk, and at four to six months, she is expected to begin to wean from her mom with keepers introducing solid food.

The zoo said the cub will be with mom for the first year, following her around the habitat and learning how to climb.

A spokesperson for the zoo also noted that the cub does not have red fur when it’s born; it’s gray and will turn red over the next couple of months. In a few months, the cub will be in the outdoor habitat, visible to the public.

Red pandas are considered endangered due to deforestation, poaching and trapping. It is estimated that about 2,500 red pandas exist in the wild, and because of the low population count, zoo representatives say every red panda’s birth is significant.

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