SEATTLE—Woodland Park Zoo’s veterinary team performed a third neonatal exam on the zoo’s twin red panda cubs. The 5-week-old female cubs have opened their eyes and are currently shy of weighing 2 pounds each. At birth, they weighed about 5 ounces each. The parents of the cubs are 2-year-old mom Hazel and 13-year-old dad Yukiko.
Hazel, a first-time mom, continues to provide attentive care in an indoor, climate-controlled den where she can nurse and bond with her cubs in a quiet environment; the den is off view to zoo guests. The dad does not yet have contact with his new family, but introductions may be planned in the near future. Guests to the zoo can see the zoo’s other red panda, a 4-year-old male named Carson, in the Wildlife Survival Zone.
The zoo anticipates putting Hazel and her cubs on public exhibit by mid-October and the community will be invited to participate in a public naming later this summer.
Red pandas share the name of giant pandas, but more closely resemble raccoons. Recent studies suggest they are closely related to skunks, weasels and raccoons. An endangered species, fewer than 10,000 red pandas remain in their native habitat of bamboo forests in China, the Himalayas and Myanmar, and share part of their range with giant pandas. Their numbers are declining due to deforestation, increased agriculture and cattle grazing, and continuing pressure from growing local populations.
Woodland Park Zoo supports the Red Panda Network, whose multi-prong approach aims to conserve this flagship species in Nepal. Help support the project by adopting a red panda through the zoo’s ZooParent Adoption Program.
Summer zoo hours through September 30 are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. For more information or to become a zoo member, visit www.zoo.org or call 206.548.2500.
Founded in 1899, Woodland Park Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and certified by the rigorous American Humane Conservation program. The Humane Certified™ seal of approval is another important validation of the zoo’s long-standing tradition of meeting the highest standards in animal welfare. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats through more than 30 field projects in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Each year, the zoo engages more than a million visitors of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and walks of life in extraordinary experiences with animals, inspiring them to make conservation a priority in their lives and a difference in our planet’s future ecological health and sustainability. Visit www.zoo.org and follow the zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.