Red Panda cub born at Sacramento Zoo must be hand-raised due to maternal neglect

By Web Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- 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.

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