Chattanooga Zoo announces birth of baby red pandas

Authored By seanphippster

The only thing cuter than an adult red panda is a baby red panda.

On Thursday, the Chattanooga Zoo announced the birth of two red panda cubs at the facility.

According to a release from the zoo, the two male cubs were born July 10 to first-time parents Wyatt and Maina.

The cubs, currently without names, are still dependent on their mother’s milk and will not be made visible to the public until they have matured and adapted to their surroundings. Zoo officials said the cubs’ official debut to the public will depend on their mother and when she feels they are ready to leave the nest of the den.

Red pandas have been housed at the Chattanooga Zoo since 1998. The first red panda was a single male, Nigalya. Maina and Wyatt are the first species survival plan breeding pair to be united at the zoo.

The recent success also marks the first time red pandas have given birth at the local zoo.

Wyatt and Maina were placed together in 2014 through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums SSP. Red pandas are currently listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“After caring for these animals . studying this species and their behaviors, and working relentlessly, it is so rewarding for our staff to experience the miracle of birth and watch their hard work pay off,” said Dardenelle Long, zoo president and CEO.

The Chattanooga Zoo is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $9.95 for adults and $6.95 for children. Click here for more information.