Lee Richardson Zoo
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One Red Panda Cub Passes,
Two Continue To Thrive


Smalles red panda cubFriday, October 6 Veterinary and Animal Care staff at Lee Richardson Zoo made the painful decision to euthanize the smallest of the three red panda cubs born August 12th.
On Monday, October 2 while monitoring the cubs, animal care staff noted that one was losing weight rather than gaining and lagging substantially behind his brothers.  Staff planned supplemental feedings and prepared formula.  But when staff were next able to separate the cubs from their mother to provide the first extra feeding on Tuesday, the smallest cub was in crisis. He was moved to the veterinary clinic for tube feeding and attention to a penial injury. 
“The littlest red panda gave all he had as did veterinary and animal care staff but it just wasn’t enough,” said Sarah Colman, General Curator.  “The littlest one may have only been with us for a little while, but it hurts to have lost him.  The two other cubs are doing well.  One is big for his age, and the other is gaining weight more quickly than he was, since there’s less competition.”    
Mother and cubs are indoors, where they will most likely stay until later this month or early November based on when Ember has elected to go outside with her previous litters.  Until then, footage of mom and cubs will be on the zoo’s website, the zoo Facebook page, and YouTube channel, as well as local cable channel 8. 
Superb climbers, red pandas can descend trees head first like a squirrel, thanks to a special rotating ankle joint. In the wild, they are found from Nepal to Burma, and into Central China.  They are listed as Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) primarily due to the destruction of their habitat for human use (logging, farming, firewood, etc…).  There has also been an increase in poaching and trafficking for the pet trade.   Visit the zoo’s website or the Red Panda Network to learn more about this fascinating species.