Zoo welcomes red Panda cubs - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Zoo welcomes red Panda cubs

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The new Red Panda Cubs. Chattanooga Zoo photos The new Red Panda Cubs. Chattanooga Zoo photos
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The Chattanooga Zoo announced Thursday the birth of two tiny, fluffy, and highly endangered red panda cubs.

No names have been chosen for the cubs yet, born to the Zoo’s two adult red pandas, Wyatt and Maina. All pandas involved are doing well, according to Zoo officials.

“The birth of two healthy, genetically diverse, red pandas is so exciting and I love watching what an excellent job Maina is doing in taking care of them,” says Betsy Eckermann, Red Panda Primary Keeper.

Red pandas, native to the eastern Himalayas and China, look like a child’s plush toy cross between a giant panda and a raccoon.

The cubs, the first born in Chattanooga, are part of the Species Survival Plan, a program between American zoos to save certain threatened and endangered species. Fewer than 10,000 red pandas remain in the wild.

According to Zoo CEO Dardenelle Long, “After caring for these animals, partnering with conservation organizations…and working relentlessly, it is so rewarding for our staff to experience the miracle of birth and watch their hard work pay off.”

The birth comes after nearly two decades of housing red pandas at the Chattanooga zoo.

The Zoo says it’ll be some time before the cubs are visible to the public.

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