Red panda twins were born again at Sóstó Zoo
2019. 09. 04.

The Nyíregyháza Zoo has an important mission on the rare and endangered species of

keeping and breeding. Almost for every week we have news about a successful breeding.

Today the 6 weeks old red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) were examined by Dr. Alexandra Biácsi

who besides measuring their weights and determining the sexes of the pandas she gave the

cubs a unique identifier. Currently the male weighs 665 grams and the female does 627

grams also they are enjoying excellent health and a few weeks later the red panda cubs

begin to get to know the outside world.

The red panda parents have been living together for 5 years in the European Endangered

Species Programme (EEP). The female came from Bratislava and her partner Szecsuán came

from the Dublin Zoo to Sóstó Zoo. The breeding pair is very successful because this is the

third time that twins were born while it’s very hard for them to reproduce in captivity.

Currently there is less than 10.000 red pandas live in the wild – in the Himalayas, in the

upper forest of North Burma also the west side of Sichuan and in Yunnan – and this number

have decreased about 40 % in the last 50 years because of losing their habitat, poaching and

illegal animal trading. Although they belong to the predator species, but their menu mostly

consists bamboo and sometimes the pandas like to consume eggs, insects, nestlings and

small mammals.

The 6 weeks old cubs’s eyes were closed in the first few weeks and they are spending most

of their times laying in the lair. Ting-ting, the mother, at the beginning was with her cubs all

day in the lair even though she leaves the twins more frequently, but she goes back to feed

and clean the pandas. The species was discovered in 1825 and their Latin name – Ailurus

fulgens – means ’fire blaze’ cat. The Hungarian name of the species, red bear cat refers to

the features of a bear moreover they climb on trees very well – the help of their semi-

retractable claws – and also clean themselves like cats.