One newborn red panda means two for Memphis Zoo - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

One newborn red panda means two for Memphis Zoo

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(Source: Memphis Zoo) (Source: Memphis Zoo)
(Source: Memphis Zoo) (Source: Memphis Zoo)

(WMC-TV) – The Memphis Zoo is welcoming a furry new addition to the Cat Country exhibit.  And because one cub was born, the zoo will soon welcome another.

The red panda cub, named Justin, was born July 1. Because his mother was not able to properly take care of him, Justin was moved to the hospital where he is being hand-reared.

"Sometimes mothers are really great and sometimes not so much, so we have to intervene," said Gail Karr, of the Memphis Zoo.

Justin will be bottle fed in the hospital for another month before he will make the gradual transition to eating the same food the other red pandas eat.

Because staff at the Memphis Zoo likes to rear red panda cubs in pairs, they are bringing in a mate for Justin from another zoo.

A female cub about the same age will join Justin from the Bronx Zoo. They will be raised together and zoo staff hopes they will click and have a cub of their own some day.

"We are very excited about the birth of Justin," Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs said. "Red pandas are endangered. There are some estimates that put the number of adult red pandas in the wild around 2,500. Justin has a very favorable genetic lineage, and we're hopeful that he'll be one of many red panda cubs born here at the Memphis Zoo."

It is not known yet when Justin will officially join his parents, Ryo and Pele, in the Cat Country exhibit.

Red pandas are actually related to raccoons, but were previously thought to have been related to Giant Pandas.

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