Red panda cubs go on exhibit at Memphis Zoo

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

(WMC-TV) – The two newest additions at the Memphis Zoo are now on exhibit for the public to see.

Two red panda cubs, named Justin and Lucille, have been hand-raised by zookeepers since this past summer.

Justin was born at the Memphis Zoo on July 1.  A second cub, Lucille, was brought in from the Bronx Zoo because it is recommended that red panda cubs are reared in pairs.  Lucille was born on June 21.

"We are so excited to introduce this pair to our visitors," said Memphis Zoo Director of Animal Programs Matt Thompson. "Justin and Lucille have gained quite the following through Facebook, so I know our patrons will be excited to see them on exhibit."

Zoo officials hope the two red pandas will have a cub of their own someday.

"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," Thompson said when Justin was born in July.

Justin's parents, Ryo and Pele, have since been moved to other institutions.

If you would like to meet Justin and Lucille, you can visit them at the Commercial Appeal 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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