Nashville Zoo Announces First Red Panda Birth
Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a red panda on July 3. The female cub is doing well and bonding with her mother in their off exhibit den.
“This is the first birth of a red panda at Nashville Zoo, so it is certainly cause for celebration,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor. “Though the cub can’t be seen on exhibit right now, we hope she will make her debut this fall and bring attention to the fight to save this species.”
Known for their cinnamon colored fur and bushy ringed tail, the red panda is native to the mountains of Central China, Nepal and northern Myanmar (Burma). They are considered vulnerable to extinction due to habitat destruction. In addition, slow rates of reproduction and high infant mortality rates make it very hard for this species to rebound from population declines.
“Because of the high infant mortality rate, we took every precaution possible to ensure the baby was delivered and cared for safely,” said Rice. “The mother has done a great job of nursing and caring for the baby, which has enabled us to take a hands-off approach.”
The Zoo’s red panda pair are a part of AZA’s Species Survival Program, which manages breeding in order to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining captive population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. At about a year old, the cub will most likely leave Nashville Zoo to be paired with a mate for breeding.
More information about the new cub can be found at the Zoo’s blog http://www.nashvillezoo.org/our-blog/posts/red-panda-cub and news on her debut and a naming contest will be soon announced on the Zoo website and social media.
Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Attracting more than 776,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership. For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit www.nashvillezoo.org.