Chattanooga Zoo unveils new Red Panda cubs

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Chattanooga Zoo announces the birth of two new red panda cubs.

As you can see, the young males have passed their checkups.

They were born a few weeks ago to first time parents, Wyatt and Maina.

Zoo officials report that Maina is doing well and is showing signs of being a caring mother.

They paired the parent pandas in 2014 through the Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.

“Having seen firsthand last year the threats that red pandas face in the wild, I am very proud to play a part in their conservation through our work with the Species Survival Plan. The birth of two healthy, genetically diverse, red pandas is so exciting and I love watching what an excellent job Maina is doing in taking care of them,” states Betsy Eckermann, Red Panda Primary Keeper.

Panda Cub 2

The cubs still haven’t been named yet.

And the public won’t get to see them for quite awhile.

It will depend on when their mother feels they are ready to leave the next den.

Red pandas can take up to four months to mature and adapt.

The Chattanooga Zoo brought in their first red pandas in 1998, with Nigalya.

John Mercer  and Nigalya in 2011

John Mercer and Nigalya in 2011

Maina and Wyatt are the first SSP breeding pair at the Zoo, and this is the Zoo’s first red panda birth.

Dardenelle Long, Zoo CEO and President says, “After caring for these animals, partnering with conservation organizations, building and adding to exhibits, studying this species and their behaviors, and working relentlessly, it is so rewarding for our staff to experience the miracle of birth and watch their hard work pay off. We are so excited to have another SSP birth success and we look forward to seeing these cubs grow!”

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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