KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Marvin the red panda cub arrived at Zoo Knoxville on Friday, greeted by a team of experts.
Zoo Knoxville officials say Marvin will be hand-raised with three other cubs by Curator Sarah Glass and her team, who are internationally recognized as experts in the care and husbandry of red pandas.
Marvin was born at the Idaho Falls Zoo to his mother, Delilah and father, Winston – red pandas that had been raised at Zoo Knoxville.
The red panda cubs will all be raised together.
“The decision to bring the cubs to be raised in Knoxville was made by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, which is a collaborative effort among zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to maintain a healthy population of red pandas in human care. Zoo Knoxville is the top zoo in the world for the breeding of red pandas, with 110 cubs born at the zoo,” officials said.
Native to the forests of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Myanmar, red pandas are an endangered species. It is estimated that as few as 2,500 are left in the wild, with a 50% decline in their population in the last 20 years.