Potter Park Zoo celebrates birth of endangered red panda cub
dvm360, dvm360 September 2022, Volume 53, Issue 9
Birth supports conservation of this endangered species
Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan announced that its red panda pair—female Maliha and male Deagan-Reid—gave birth to a male cub on July 21, 2022. This is a significant birth because there are fewer than 205 red pandas in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions1 and less than 10,000 of this species left in the wild.2
“Maliha is doing great. She’s an experienced mother and has been excellent with the newborn,” said Annie Marcum, carnivore area lead keeper, in an organizational release. “The cub is actively nursing and growing at a healthy rate”.
Fun facts about red panda newborns
These cute creatures are1:
Born deaf, blind, and are small enough to fit into a human’s palm
It takes them over 2 weeks to open their eyes
It takes them approximately 2 months before they start exploring out of the nest.
The animal care staff at the zoo is monitoring Maliha and her infant via a camera located in the nest box where they are resting. Over the next weeks, veterinary staff will conduct regular wellness checks to keep track of the cub’s growth and development.
Deagan-Reid came from the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee in 2021 and was paired with Potter Park Zoo female Maliha by the AZA’s red panda Species Survival Program. The duo has had 2 successful litters in 2 years.
“We’re fortunate to have another successful red panda birth. Having two successful litters back-to-back is a testament to the hard work, planning, and teamwork at the zoo,” shared animal care supervisor, Pat Fountain. “Introducing another red panda cub to the SSP is crucial for the species moving forward, we’re glad to be a part of the solution.”
Maliha and her baby will be off exhibit until they are ready to venture out, though visitors can see Deagan-Reid on exhibit.
Thurman H. Endangered red panda cub born at Potter Park Zoo. News release. Potter Park Zoo. August 2, 2022. Accessed August 2, 2022. https://potterparkzoo.org/redpandacub
Red Panda. World Wildlife Fund, Inc. Accessed August 2, 2022. https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/red-panda