Milwaukee County Zoo: Red panda born June 12

The "Baby Boom" continues at the Milwaukee County Zoo, with a red panda birth on June 12! This is the third cub for mom, Dr. Erin, and father, Dash. 

The female cub is part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, which helps to maintain genetic diversity within red panda populations in AZA-accredited zoos.

The cub, who is not yet named, was born mid-day Sunday, June 12, in an off-exhibit area, in a secluded and quiet nest box. Keepers can closely monitor the nest box with special cameras. 

At about 24 hours after the birth, the cub weighed 144 grams; on the second day, keepers recorded a weight of 196 grams --weights will continue to be recorded when mom and cub are comfortable with a short separation time to place the cub on a scale.

Keepers report that Dr. Erin and the cub spend almost the entire time together in the nest box.

The cub now relies on mom for milk, nursing for the first 13-22 weeks of life. At 4-6 months, she’ll begin to wean from mom, and keepers will start to introduce solid food to her, softened in water. She’ll be with mom for the first year of life, following her around the habitat and learning how to climb.

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It’s interesting to note that the cub does not have red fur when it’s born; rather, it’s gray, and will turn red over the next couple of months. In a few months, the cub will be in the outdoor habitat, visible to the public.