OKC ZOO’S RED PANDA CUBS NOW ON PUBLIC VIEW AT SANCTUARY ASIA
August 22, 2019
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s two-month-old red panda cubs, male, Ravi and female, Khyana are now viewable to the public at the Zoo’s Sanctuary Asia habitat. The young twins and their mom, Leela, 5, have recently moved to an indoor day room at their main habitat where Zoo guests will have the opportunity to see them daily. Born on Sunday, June 2, at the Zoo’s red panda habitat to first-time mother Leela, the cubs have been off public view since birth to allow them time to bond with mom.
Both Ravi (name is Nepalese for Sun) and Khyana (name is Nepalese for light) are in good health, growing every day and getting plenty of much needed rest in their habitat’s nest box. As the two become more familiar with their new surroundings, Zoo caretakers feel they will venture out from their nest box and begin navigating the habitat’s climbing structures, keeping in step with mom!
The cub’s father, Thomas, 6, continues to have access to the habitat’s outside area to allow Leela quiet time with her little ones.
About the OKC Zoo’s Red Pandas
Thomas, 6, came to the OKC Zoo from the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk and Leela, 5, was born at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, California, in 2014 and moved to the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium in 2015. Their relocation to the OKC Zoo in 2018 was a species survival plan (SSP) recommendation. SSP programs were developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to help oversee the husbandry and breeding management and, as a result, the sustainability of select animal species within AZA-member institutions, including the OKC Zoo. Many of these programs help enhance conservation efforts of these species in the wild as well.
Red Pandas in the Wild
Red pandas are listed as an endangered species. Only an estimated 10,000 remain in the wild, and their habitats in remote areas of the Himalayan Mountains, from Nepal to central China, are being threatened by deforestation, agriculture, cattle grazing and competition for resources. In addition to a taste for bamboo, red pandas consume many other types of food including fruits, acorns, roots and eggs. Red pandas grow to be about the size of a typical house cat and have a life expectancy between 8 and 10 years. Their bushy, ringed tails add about 18 inches to their length and serve as a type of blanket, keeping them warm in cold mountain climates. Though previously classified as a relative of the giant panda, and also of the raccoon, with which it shares a ringed tail, red pandas are currently considered members of their own unique taxonomic family—the Ailuridae.
Come see our little rays of cuteness! The Oklahoma City Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.