LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — In the early morning hours of July 4th, two red panda cubs were welcomed to the Potter Park family.
This is Maliha’s second litter of red panda cubs, after breeding with another red panda in 2016. Maliha’s current mate, Deagan-Reid, arrived from Zoo Knoxville earlier this year. Deagan-Reid and Maliha shortly bred after his arrival.
It’s a special privilege to welcome red panda cubs, and we are all thrilled. Maliha has proven to be an attentive mother and we are confident the cubs are in good hands”.Liz Jagenow, Maliha’s primary trainer
In order to monitor their growth and development, the veterinary staff will be conducting wellness and weight checks on a regular basis. Both Maliha and her cubs are additionally monitored by animal care staff through a camera mounted in their nest box.
Both of Maliha’s litters were recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for red pandas, which thoroughly analyzes the genetic profile of each red panda.
Maliha’s cubs will be a part of a valuable population of fewer than 220 red pandas in AZA facilities across the nation.
Maliha and the cubs are part of a much larger picture. Potter Park and other AZA accredited zoos work in close cooperation to maintain a healthy red panda lineage, and these births are the result of careful planning and preparation”.Cindy Wagner, Zoo Director
Some quick facts on red panda cubs, courtesy of the Potter Park Zoo:
- At birth, red pandas are deaf and blind and can fit into an average adult’s palm
- It takes two weeks for cubs to open their eyes
- Red panda cubs typically take a month before leaving their nest
Until the cubs can leave their nest, Maliha and the cubs will stay off-exhibit. Deagan-Reid will still be in his outside habitat so that people can visit the new father.
Those who wish to see Maliha and her cubs will be able to view footage from a nest box camera shared on Potter Park’s social media.