Two male red panda cubs are soon to make their public debut at Prospect Park Zoo! They were born over the summer and are now strong enough to venture into their habitat with their mother, Willow, who has been caring for them in an indoor den since birth. Red panda cubs are born with much lighter coats than the rusty red and black of adult animals, and their coats darken as they get older. They reach adulthood at around 18 months old. The two cubs are Styan’s red pandas, a subspecies of panda from the eastern portion of the Himalayan range in China and northern Myanmar.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has been successful in breeding red pandas and the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo. The breeding programs at each zoo are part of the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that is designed to enhance the genetic viability and demographic stability of animal populations. What happened behind the scenes to facilitated the red panda breeding program at Prospect Park Zoo will be featured on an upcoming episode of The Zoo on Animal Planet–the fourth season premieres in early 2020.
If you’re ready to go see the new red pandas, tickets to the Prospect Park Zoo are $9.95 for adults, $7.95 for seniors 65 and older, $6.95 for kids 3-12, and free for children younger than 3. Zoo hours are 10am-4:30pm now until March. Don’t miss this opportunity to see what might be the cutest debut in the city!
Main Image: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS