Oklahoma City Zoo guests select names for adorable red panda cubs

OKLAHOMA CITY – A pair of adorable new additions to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden now have names.

In June, zoo officials announced that two healthy red panda cubs were born on June 2 at the zoo’s red panda habitat.

Caretakers say the first-time mother, 5-year-old Leela, is demonstrating appropriate maternal behaviors to the male and female cubs.

Male cub; Courtesy: Oklahoma City Zoo

At birth, the male weighed 119 grams and the female weighed 124 grams. By June 18, both cubs had more than doubled their birth weights.

“We are so excited to welcome these adorable red panda cubs to the Zoo’s animal family and are beyond thrilled that Leela is such a nurturing mother,” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo Curator of Carnivores and Hoofstock. “While we don’t yet know when the cubs will be on public view, mom and her offspring are doing well and bonding behind-the-scenes at their habitat.”

After they were born, visitors were asked to help name them.

For the male cub, zoo guests were able to choose from the following options:

  • Ravi (Nepalese for sun)
  • Tau (Nepalese for handsome)
  • Jetsun (Buddist reverend from Tibet.)

For the female cub, the options were:

  • Nima (Nepalese for small)
  • Mohu (Nepalese for cloudy)
  • Khyana (Nepalese for light.)

During the contest, zoo officials say they received more than 6,300 votes for the names.

On Monday night, authorities announced that the male cub is named Ravi and the female cub is Khyana.

Red pandas are listed as an endangered species, and only about 10,000 remain in the wild. Their habitats in remote areas of the Himalayan Mountains from Nepal to central China are being threatened by deforestation, agriculture, cattle grazing and competition for resources.

Red pandas grow to be the size of the typical house cat.

Leela and Thomas Red Pandas; Courtesy: Oklahoma City Zoo

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