For the first time ever a red panda has been born at the Idaho Falls Zoo. Over the next week or so, you can see the male cub in the Primate Center and watch him being fed at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily. You’ll want to jump on the opportunity to see him as he won’t be at the Idaho Falls Zoo for very long. He’ll actually be flown via private jet to his new home at Zoo Knoxville in Tennessee very soon.
Delilah, the zoo’s six year-old female, gave birth to two cubs on June 29. Unfortunately, one cub passed away shortly after birth. But, the other is doing very well and growing each day. It’s not uncommon for first-time moms to exhibit confusion or disinterest in raising young so the cub is being hand-raised by zoo staff to ensure its health and well-being. As it’s not possible for the cub to be returned to his mother, Idaho Falls Zoo animal care staff have been in touch with red panda Species Survival Plan (SSP) representatives at Zoo Knoxville.
Red pandas are endangered so each new cub is extremely important to the future of the species. Your Idaho Falls Zoo participates in the red panda SSP. An SSP is a cooperatively-managed breeding program between facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that manages captive threatened or endangered species.
He will continue to be hand-raised at Zoo Knoxville with other red panda cubs as being raised with others of his species is crucial to their healthy development.
“We, of course, want to give this little cub the best chance possible for a healthy future,” says Zoo Director David Pennock, “and that means ensuring he’s raised with other cubs of his species.”
The little cub is especially dear to the zoo as his father, Winston, passed away this week due to a medical issue. Zoo staff will be working with the red panda SSP representatives to find a new mate for Delilah.
Part of being an AZA accredited organization is always providing the highest level of professional attention and welfare for the animals in our care as they serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. The red panda cub is a perfect example of the level of professional care provided to animals in accredited organizations as he’ll be flown to Zoo Knoxville in comfort and style aboard a private plane.
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Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with zoo staff, contact Idaho Falls Public Information Officer, Bud Cranor at 208-612-8306.