KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Zoo Knoxville announced the birth of an endangered red panda cub on Thursday.
The female cub and a twin sibling were born on June 14 and later moved to the zoo’s animal clinic for around-the-clock feeding after they were not gaining sufficient weight. The twin sibling did not survive but the caretakers rallied around the tiny female cub, according to a release.
“She’s doing very well. She’s been gaining weight, she is meeting all of her developmental milestones,” said Sarah Glass, Curator of Red Pandas at Zoo Knoxville.
GALLERY: Red panda photos
Another male cub will be coming to Knoxville to be raised with her in the next few weeks.
Zoo guests will be able to see the cub at daily bottle feedings at noon starting Thursday inside the Pilot Flying J Wee Play Adventure building.
“She actually kind of represents the future. She doesn’t look like much now but she’s going to be a future great mom for the population,” said Glass.
According to its website, more red pandas have been born at Zoo Knoxville than any other zoo in the world.
The zoo is part of the red panda Species Survival Plan, a collaborative effort between accredited North American Zoos to save the species from extinction. Zoo Knoxville curator Sarah Glass is the coordinator of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan for all of North America.
“We want to make sure we’re breeding animals as unrelated as possible to each other so that we don’t inadvertently change the species or change the individual,” said Glass.