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Newborn Red Panda Cubs 'Doing Well' At Nashville Zoo

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Posted at 9:37 AM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-01 12:28:04-04

Two red pandas born at Nashville Zoo have been doing well and bonding with their mother, according to zoo officials.

The red panda cubs were born on June 16 to mother Mei Mei.

“This is the second red panda birth at Nashville Zoo, and the first litter for first time mom, Mei Mei,” said Jennifer Wu, carnivore keeper. “We were able to track Mei Mei’s pregnancy progress because she allowed keepers to conduct ultrasounds during her regular training sessions. This helped the animal care team estimate a due date and properly plan for the big day.”

Video cameras have been added to Mei Mei’s nest boxes and outdoor area. Zoo officials said these allowed them to watch and properly care for Mei Mei throughout her pregnancy and the cubs’ birth.

Those cameras were still live after the cubs' birth. View them below:

Animal experts said the cubs typically stay in the nests for up to three months because they’re born blind and almost completely immobile.

Zoo officials said the cubs open their eyes around one month after their birth, but that vision isn’t clear until they’re older.

Red Pandas are native to the mountains of Central China, Nepal, and northern Myanmar.

Officials with Nashville Zoo said red pandas have been “considered vulnerable to extinction due to habitat destruction. In addition, slow rates of reproduction and high infant mortality rates make it very hard for this species to rebound from population declines.”

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