Double the Cuteness: Two Baby Red Pandas Expected at Potter Park Zoo
Lansing's Potter Park Zoo has some exciting news to share: They're expecting two baby red pandas!
Potter Park Zoo's 7-year-old red panda, Maliha, is pregnant after a successful introduction to male Deagan-Reid earlier this year. After an ultrasound it was deternined that Maliha will be having twins!
Potter Park says Maliha participates in her medical care voluntarily, allowing veterinary staff to perform ultrasounds while animal care staff provide positive reinforcement with her favorite foods. This allows monitoring of Maliha's health and the health of her babies throughout her pregnancy.
Red pandas are endangered. There are less than 2,500 adult red pandas left in the wild. Maliha and Deagan-Reid are part of the the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program that pairs individuals with an aim to maximize genetic diversity.
Potter Park Zoo Director Cynthia Wagner said in a release,
“Maliha’s pregnancy is not only great news for Potter Park Zoo, but for red pandas as an endangered species."
Mahlia expected to give birth soon! Zookeeper Sarah Higgins tells Fox 17, "We are checking every morning, first thing in the morning to make sure that she has not given birth overnight."
Once they're born, the cubs will stay in their nest box with mom until they're about eight weeks old. Potter Park says once they're old enough, they'll be weaned and sent to other zoos.
A camera has been set up in Maliha’s nest box in anticipation of the big day! You can follow Potter Park Zoo on Facebook for updates on the red panda family.