Oklahoma City Zoo announces birth of red panda cubs

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OKLAHOMA CITY– The OKC Zoo and Botanical Gardens, along with Mom Jaya, 9, and Dad, Lhotse, 2, welcomed two red panda cubs on Sunday, July 3.

On July 6, one of the cubs showed signs of distress, and was transported to the Zoo’s Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital for immediate care.

Unfortunately, the cub did not survive.

“We are saddened by the loss of one of Jaya’s cubs, but thrilled that the surviving cub is healthy and receiving great maternal care from Jaya,” said Nate Strong, animal supervisor. “We will give the cub plenty of time to bond with mom and gain weight, and transition from nursing to eating solid foods.”

It take three to four months for red pandas to mature and adapt to their habitat.

This means the pandas will not be visible to the public during the bonding phase.

Unlike their similarly named black and white giant panda species, red pandas are in a family all their own.

Giant pandas are in the bear family, but red pandas have yet to be formally classified into a mammal group.

Theories suggest such relatives as raccoons or skunks.