SOUTH BEND, Ind. — An Indiana zoo has welcomed two new adorable members to its family – a pair of baby red pandas.
“In the first 24 hours, zoo staff weighed the cubs and determined that one was smaller than the other and seemed to have respiratory difficulty,” the zoo said in a blog post. “After discussion with the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, the decision was made to remove the smaller cub to be hand-reared by animal care staff and leave the larger cub with Maiya. The goal is to eventually reintroduce the smaller cub to Maiya, once it has gained weight and seems to be strong enough.”
The post went on to say the cubs “have gained weight and seem to be thriving.” Officials are “cautiously optimistic” about their conditions, “although the mortality rate for red panda cubs is nearly 50% and even higher for hand-reared cubs,” the post said.
The zoo also took to Facebook to share photos of the cubs, who likely will “take a few months to start moving around outside of their nest,” according to the post.
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