Say hello to the two newest residents at the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park! According to a press release published today, second-time mother Mei-Li gave birth to twin red panda cubs on Sunday, June 11th.
One of the cubs has needed additional feedings because it was significantly smaller at birth. According to the zoo,
"It became evident that the second cub was going to need additional care and support and was subsequently removed for hand-rearing by Animal Care staff. This cub is now gaining weight appropriately, though additional health concerns have come to light. At this point, staff will be moving forward with the current care plan and will wait for the cub to become healthier before putting it back with Mei-Li."
The red panda is listed as endangered because its population has declined by 50% over the past 20 years. This decline is primarily due to deforestation, which eliminates red pandas’ nesting sites and sources of food. The Binghamton Zoo participates in several Species Survival Plans (SSP), ensuring the long-term health and survival of captive species, through its partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Red pandas are native to the Himalayan Mountains in parts of Buma, Nepal, India, and China. Contrary to popular belief, red pandas are not related to the giant panda, but are closely related to the raccoon family. They are herbivores, eating berries, leaves, grains, nuts, fruits, flowers, and bird eggs.
Note from zoo staff: Cub A is on exhibit, but may not be visible for several weeks until it is big enough to climb out of the nest box. Cub B is off exhibit while under veterinary care.
Follow the growth of the red panda cubs at the Binghamton Zoo on www.rossparkzoo.com/red-panda-cubs
The Binghamton Zoo will be hosting a gender reveal party for the red panda twins later this month. The community is invited for cake and the revealing at the red panda’s exhibit in the zoo. The gender reveal party will also kick off a naming contest for the red panda cubs in which the community may participate. The gender reveal party date will be announced on the Binghamton Zoo’s Facebook page here when determined.
The Binghamton Zoo is located at 60 Morgan Road in Binghamton, NY. General admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-11. The admissions booth is open from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm daily and the zoo closes at 5:00 pm. For more information, call (607) 724-5461 or visit the zoo website at rossparkzoo.com.
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Photos: Binghamton Zoo At Ross Park