Bites at Animal Planet

18 Jul

National Zoo Welcomes New Red Panda Cubs!

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Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Photo: Janice Sveda/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. has welcomed four new litters of red panda cubs! However, you won't be able to see them just yet, as they are living at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, or SCBI, in Front Royal, Virginia. This is where the zoo does much of its research concerning animal reproduction. According to The Washington Post, four pairs of red pandas live there, all of which have had babies within the last year. That means 10 babies, more than the zoo has ever had in one year!

The little guy pictured above was born to Regan and Rocco. The cub is currently being hand-reared to increase its chance of survival, as Regan has been known to neglect cubs in the past. However, zookeepers are working hard to keep these cubs alive as well as care for the parents. In about 12 months, the cubs will be full grown and the size of a house cat!

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Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Photo: Janice Sveda/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Out of these panda pairs, one of the fathers is Rusty, the infamous red panda who escaped the zoo and ran the streets of D.C. last summer! Hopefully his babies won't be as mischievous. 

Red pandas are native to bamboo forests of China, Nepal, and Myanmar. However, there are only about 10,000 adult red pandas left in the wild. That's why the reproduction and breeding research at SCBI is so important to the survival and conservation of this species.

Want some more red panda in your life? Check out this adorable photo gallery!

Curious about how exactly red pandas find a mate? Find out here! :

 

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