Red panda cubs in a happy ‘huff’
Two rare red panda babies have been born at Auckland Zoo.
The twins, who are yet to be named, arrived in the world on January 3 each weighing about 100 grams.
They are the second and third cubs born to 4-year-old mum Bo and 13-year-old Sagar, who also have a boy named Pabu. He was born just over a year ago.
The zoo says the new cubs are yet to be named or sexed, but are an extremely valuable addition to the international breeding programme for the threatened species.
‘‘We’re delighted Bo has had two healthy cubs and she’s proving once again to be such a confident and attentive mother,’’ acting carnivore team leader Lauren Booth says.
The zoo team have checked and weighed the cubs but are trying to remain hands-off.
‘‘They have now opened their eyes and are moving about in the nest box a little more, and will sometimes ‘huff’ at us,’’ she says.
‘‘Their weights have shot up to 403 grams and 423 grams respectively – above average, so we know they’re eating plenty, but they still have a lot more growing to do!’’
Ms Booth says the cubs will also eventually leave Auckland to contribute to the international breeding programme.
Pabu will relocate to an Australian zoo within the next six months.
Visitors to Auckland Zoo will be able to catch the cubs’ parents and older brother out on display.
But the cubs are not expected to venture out of their nest box until they are at least 12 weeks old, sometime in March.
Their sex will be confirmed in early March when they have their first vet check.
Double trouble: The Nepalese red panda cubs born at Auckland Zoo.