Greensboro, N.C. - - The Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is
delighted to announce the birth of two adorable red panda cubs, one male and
one female, adding to the growing red panda family. Born on May 26 to Tai
(male) and Usha (female), the arrival of these precious cubs has already
brought excitement to the GSC’s animal care staff. This is the second red panda
litter born at the GSC.
Jessica Hoffman, VP of Animal Care & Welfare for the GSC says, "We
were excited to once again receive a breeding recommendation from the Red Panda
SSP program and were especially pleased to have twins this year instead of a
single cub! Though Usha and Tai were already successful with Ravi last year,
Tai's genetics are still highly valuable for the population, which is why we
received a second recommendation." Hoffman continues, "Due to the
genetic value of these cubs, we were also recommended to hand-rear if we saw
any concerning behaviors from Usha again. After monitoring her for several
hours on camera with the cubs, we started to see some precursor behaviors that
concerned us about the cubs' safety, so we pulled them for hand-rearing. We
know they are in good hands with our talented animal care team!"
Although technically considered carnivores, red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) have adapted to
feed mostly on bamboo. They eat roughly 20 to 30 percent of their body weight
in bamboo and can eat up to 20,000 leaves a day. Red pandas are considered
endangered due to habitat loss, according to the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
"I feel like the panda team is more comfortable across the board taking
care of the cubs since this is our second time around. We are so excited to
have two cubs this time because they can play with each other and grow up
together. Watching them interact should be a lot of fun for everyone,"
shares Kelly Rauch, Red Panda Lead Keeper. She adds, "Twins are a lot more
common in pandas than singletons and when we discovered that she was carrying
two through her ultrasound training, we were very excited. Their personalities
are already starting to shine through. The male is always looking for his
sister after their feeds, while the female is independent and has a lot to
The cubs are currently staying in the GSC's Shearer Animal Hospital surgery
room, which has been converted into a nursery. In addition to viewing the cubs
through the surgery window, guests are invited to watch feedings. Although
feeding times are subject to change with little to no notice, they are
currently scheduled for 11:45 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.