OKC Zoo Saddened by Death of Premature Red Panda Cub

On Monday, June 18, at approximately 8 a.m., red panda Leela, 4, birthed a female cub at the Oklahoma City Zoo’s red panda habitat. The premature cub was delivered 8 to 10 days before full gestation and was underweight. Zoo veterinary staff measured the newborn’s weight at 67 grams compared to the typical red panda cub’s birthweight of 100 grams.

Caretakers noted the cub’s passing on Tuesday, June 19, at 5:30 p.m. A necropsy (animal autopsy) will be performed to gain additional information.

Although the Zoo is saddened by the outcome, veterinary and caretaker teams report first-time parent Leela demonstrated great maternal skills toward her offspring and is in good health after the delivery.

She came to the OKC Zoo in 2017 as part of the an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan breeding recommendation. The Zoo is also home to red pandas Thomas, 5, and Jaya, 10.

Guests can find the red panda habitat near the lakeside playground and endangered species carousel at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The animals will move to a newly constructed habitat in Sanctuary Asia later this summer.

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