CUTENESS OVERLOAD: New Red Panda Cub at Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo
Just weeks after welcoming baby binturongs, Lansing's Potter Park Zoo has an even newer resident!
We don't know his name yet, but the zoo's red panda Maliha gave birth to this cub cutie on July 21!
According to the zoo's website, this was Maliha's second successful litter with the cub's father, Deagan-Reid. (Maliha was born in 2014 at the Fort Worth Children's Zoo in Texas, and Deagan-Reid was born in 2011 at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids.)
Due to several factors in the red panda's natural habitat in the Himalayas, including deforestation and poaching, these animals are on the endangered species list. Animal conservationists estimate there are fewer than 2,500 surviving red pandas in the wild. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums takes care of around 200 red pandas in captivity. Anytime a new red panda cub is born, survives, and thrives, it becomes a cause for celebration.
Officials say veterinary staff at the Potter Park Zoo will "continue to conduct regular wellness checks in the coming weeks to monitor his growth and development."
Red pandas don't grow to be particularly large animals. When full grown, it's expected the cub will be a little over three feet long and around 11 pounds.
If you visit Lansing's Potter Park Zoo in the coming days or weeks, don't expect to see this red panda cub just yet. He and his mom are currently off exhibit, probably until early fall. You can still view the cub's dad in his zoo habitat.