SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s a girl! A red panda cub was born on Monday at the Sacramento Zoo.
The baby girl was born to 7-year-old Pili and 9-year-old Takeo and is one of only about 200 red pandas in zoos across North America.
Zookeepers and veterinarians closely monitored the cub and her mom and noticed Pili was neglecting the four ounce baby, including leaving the cub unattended in the outside area of the maternity den. The staff gave it a day and then decided to intervene and hand raise the baby.
A brief exam revealed the cub was suffering from hypothermia.
She was moved to a neonatal incubator in the ICU area of the Sacramento Zoo’s Dr. Murray E. Fowler Veterinary Hospital on Tuesday. Since then her temperature has returned to normal and she’s become more vocal. She will spend several months being cared for in the ICU.
Staff members are hand-feeding the cub with a lactase supplement every three hours, around the clock. The feedings will sometimes be able to be publicly viewed at the Veterinary Hospital- which is located near the giraffes.
The mortality rate for red panda cubs is roughly 50% at the one-month mark.
The Sacramento Zoo’s other red pandas, Amaya and Benjamin, recently had a cub who didn’t survive beyond 48 hours. Amaya and Benjamin are currently off-exhibit.
Pili and Takeo are back on-exhibit.
Pili’s pregnancy was confirmed during her annual exam.
Red pandas typically give birth to one to four cubs in the spring and summer. The cubs remain in their nest with their moms for at least 90 days.
Red pandas are native to Eastern Asia and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The Sacramento Zoo is a part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan.