LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The endangered red panda Maliha at the Potter Park Zoo is pregnant.
Maliha is seven-years-old and was recently introduced to the boy red panda Deagan-Reid, who was transferred from Zoo Knoxville earlier this year.
An ultrasound confirmed the pregnancy in late May. Maliha also had a litter of cubs in 2016 with a different red panda.
Staff at the zoo is able to get Maliha to participate in her medical care voluntarily by giving her her favorite foods.
“I’ve helped take care of Maliha for six years and I’m very proud of the accomplishments she’s made in training that allow her to participate voluntarily in veterinary care”, said Potter Park Zookeeper Liz Jagenow, Maliha’s primary trainer. “We are lucky to have such a willing participant and I’m definitely looking forward to watching this little red panda family grow!”
“Maliha’s pregnancy is not only great news for Potter Park Zoo, but for red pandas as an endangered species.” said Potter Park Zoo Director Cynthia Wagner.
There are less than 220 red pandas in Association of Zoos and Aquariums institutions across the country and less than 2,500 adult red pandas left in the wild.
One of the main threats to red pandas is deforestation in the areas they reside in the high altitude, temperate forests of Asia where deforestation is a primary threat.