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  • Red Panda Cub Born at the San Diego Zoo

    July 12, 2023 2 min read

    Red Panda Cub Born at the San Diego Zoo

    Four-week-old Endangered Red Panda Makes History as the First Cub Born at the San Diego Zoo in Almost 2 Decades

    SAN DIEGO (July 7, 2023) – In the mid-morning hours of July 6, 2023, guests to the San Diego Zoo were treated to a rare and remarkable sight. Red panda Adira entered her outdoor habitat in the Zoo’s Asian Passage with someone new: her small and curious 1-month-old cub. This milestone was immensely significant, as the new cub is the first red panda born at the Zoo since 2006, and this marked the first time staff and guests were able to get a glimpse of the youngster outside its den.

    The not-yet-named cub was born on June 9 to first-time parents Adira and Lucas. Over the past month, mom and her cub have stayed secluded in their den— mostly eating and sleeping, with mom venturing out only sporadically. Newborn red panda cubs tend to nurse from their mother for about 13 to 22 weeks. At 6 to 7 weeks of age, cubs naturally become more active, and begin exploring their surroundings. They normally remain in their den with mom until they are about 3 months old.

    “The birth of any animal is always an emotional experience, but for a species that hasn’t conceived in so long, this moment is even more remarkable,” said Erika Kohler, senior vice president & executive director of the San Diego Zoo. “Every birth carries so much weight, so this cub provides hope for everyone working to save this important Asian species.”

    Over the past 50 years, the global population of red pandas has dwindled by as much as 40 percent, and the species is now listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. Red pandas face a myriad of threats, including habitat loss and degradation related to increased human encroachment and climate change.

    San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance partners with the nonprofit Red Panda Network to identify unprotected red panda habitat and train “forest guardians,” who monitor the health of the forest and work with the local communities to preserve and protect it. Red Panda Network staff provide awareness-building workshops in local villages where red pandas live in Nepal. Through these vital projects, team members closely monitor red panda populations to enable conservation efforts and help establish new, secure areas for the species.

    “San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s work in Asia is focused on the illegal wildlife trade and reducing the demand for wildlife products. This is essential for conserving the unique species that call that region home,” Dr. Nadine Lamberski, chief conservation and wildlife health officer, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance explained. “Good news, such as the birth of this new red panda cub, raises awareness of the threats to wildlife and what we can do to safeguard biodiverse ecosystems for future generations.”

    Celebrate the arrival of our newest cub with San Diego Zoo red panda tees, hats, plush animals, and more. Join us in securing a future for endangered wildlife, like these original pandas, and support our organization's conservation efforts by shopping our red panda collection here.


    Red Panda Merchandise Collection

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