The baby red panda weighs only six ounces!
Oh, lucky day! 'Tis the season of babies, and we are overjoyed!
A rare baby red panda was born to Moonlight, 4, on June 12 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. The baby weighs just six ounces and will remain in the Institute for the next year to 18 months so staff can monitor the mom and baby through closed-circuit cameras. For now, the baby will live in the nest box for the first 2-3 months before it begins to open its eyes and walk.
"The new mom has been very attentive to the cub, only leaving the nest box where it was born for very short periods of time to eat and drink. Keepers have been monitoring the pair via a closed-circuit camera in the nest box and they have seen Moonlight, an experienced mom, grooming and nursing the cub."
Just look at its fur – it's so fluffy! Is it just us or does the panda look more brown than red? The baby panda's fur will continue to grow thicker and change to the brassy red color that we are familiar with, but for now, the panda is a nice brown color.
Courtesy of Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Since Moonlight only strays away from her cub for short periods of time, staff had to act quickly when attempting to weigh and examine the baby; they were able to quickly examine him or her when Moonlight left the nesting box.
The Zoo was excited over the news:
😍 A red panda cub was born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute June 12! The cub and its mom Moonlight appear to be doing well. Moonlight has been very attentive nursing and grooming the cub. ➡️https://t.co/xccIn8qaxP #WeSaveSpecies #RedPanda #RedPandaCub pic.twitter.com/vz0aqWvYk2— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) June 26, 2019
We are overjoyed and cannot wait to continue to monitor the baby's growth – Grow big and strong, little one!
Are you excited to hear about this news? Will you go and visit the new baby when he or she is full-grown? What do you think they should name him or her? Tell us in the comments!