Two red pandas were just born at the Toronto Zoo
Baby season at the Toronto Zoo is in full swing, and they've just announced two more new additions to their animal family.
Just a couple of months after the arrival of an endearingly inquisitive baby giraffe and one week after welcoming a fluffy baby camel to the caravan, the zoo has released some early footage of two tiny red panda cubs that were born on Tuesday.
The newborns and their mother, two-year-old Ila, are happy and healthy so far. According to social media posts from the zoo, this is the first red panda pregnancy they've had in more than 20 years, and it was arranged as part of a breeding program to help protect the endangered species, which is native to parts of Asia.
We are excited to announce that our red panda Ila gave birth to two healthy cubs in the late afternoon of Tuesday, July 14 🐾 .— The Toronto Zoo (@TheTorontoZoo) July 17, 2020
This is the first red panda pregnancy at the Zoo since 1996, and this is the first offspring for mother Ila with father Suva. #BabyReds pic.twitter.com/TVy1oqRY3U
Staff has been keeping a watchful but distant eye on the pint-sized cuties via a video feed, noting in an Instagram post that "while the first few weeks are critical to the cubs’ survival, we are cautiously optimistic based on the activity we are observing on the cameras."
In the shared video, the squirmy little nuggets can be heard squawking as they cuddle up to mom.
The babes will stay alongside Ila for the first year of their lives, after which they will grow up to be around the size of an average raccoon (which is a relative of the species) with a bushy red-orange coat, distinct white facial markings and ringed tail.
Now that the zoo is open to the public again after months of closure, hopefully the pair will be strong enough to make their debut to visitors up close and in-person before the summer is up.
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