Cincinnati Zoo welcomes 2 red panda cubs

Cincinnati Zoo welcomes 2 red panda cubs

Cincinnati Zoo welcomed two red panda cubs in July that became the first of its kind to be born after unique testing.

Reproductive physiologist Dr. Erin Curry was able to accurately predict the birthdates of both cubs, born 6 days apart, according to a representative.

Zookeepers said variable gestation lengths make pinpointing birthdates for this species without technology very difficult.

Dr. Curry worked with the red panda keepers to accomplish ultrasounds on the pregnant red pandas and monitored hormones in the stool samples to correlate progress and timing of the pregnancy.

The zoo said Red pandas have a variable gestation period between 107 and 158 days, typically mating from the end of December to the middle of March.

By completing these studies and analysis, Dr. Curry was able to pinpoint the actual birthdates for the new arrivals, stated representatives.

"These are the first red panda cubs whose birth dates were predicted with accuracy based on ultrasonography and fecal hormone monitoring, making them extra special," said Dr.Curry.

According to representatives, the 2-year-old mother, "Lin" gave birth to female cub last month, that the zoo named, "Dr. Erin Curry," to honor Dr. Curry's dedication and analysis during the red panda's gestation.

A male cub was born to 7-year-old red panda, "Bailey," named, "Kelli," after a former employee, stated zoo officials.

The red panda cubs have bonded with their moms behind the scenes and are expected to make their public debut in the fall of 2015, stated a Cincinnati Zoo representative.

The zoo said the two new cubs will play an exciting and important role in maintaining the red panda population and genetic variation for future breeding.

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