Wasabi, Sabi for short, was born on July 3 at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden to mom Jaya and dad Lhotse. Since her birth, she has continued to grow at a healthy pace.
At three days old, Sabi weighed 110 grams (.24 pounds) and now weighs 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds)! It takes three to four months for Red pandas to mature and adapt to their environment, so Sabi has enjoyed spending the first few months of her life bonding with mom. However, as time has passed, Sabi has become more and more curious about her surroundings. In fact, we've noticed her poking her head out of her nest box on occasion to check out what we are up to.
Wasabi is the fifteenth cub born at the Zoo since the beginning of our red panda program in 1988. Our Zoo participates in the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, which was developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) as a cooperative effort among AZA-accredited zoos throughout North America to help promote genetic diversity through species management.
Because Red pandas are listed as endangered in the wild, Wasabi's birth is incredibly important for her species. Only an estimated 10,000 Red pandas remain in the wild. Their habitats in remote areas of the Himalayan Mountains, from Nepal to Southern China, are being threatened by deforestation, agriculture, cattle grazing and competition for resources.
Starting in October, our visitors will be able to see Sabi and Jaya start exploring their outdoor exhibit.
–Nate Strong, assistant curator of children's zoo