Zoo Boise announces birth of baby red panda

July 26, 2013 

— First-time parents Dolly and Winston gave birth June 15 to a male cub, who has spent the time since in the den with his mother.

He is the third red panda to be born at Zoo Boise, according to a news release that hailed the recent arrival as the newest addition to the zoo's most reproductive year ever.

"As he continues to grow and develop, he will slowly begin to emerge from the den to explore the exhibit for short periods of time," according to the news release. "Visitors to the zoo may be able to catch glimpses of the cub as he begins to explore more."

Zoo staff has been giving Dolly as much privacy as possible to ensure that she does not become stressed and continues to take good care of the cub. For the time being, and to reduce stress on Dolly and the cub, Winston has been moved to an exhibit in the Animal Health Complex.

Dolly and Winston were matched as part of the Red Panda Species Survival Program. The program is one of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s many conservation programs. It is a breeding program for selected endangered or threatened species — otherwise known as a “special animal dating service.” The goal is to maintain a healthy and genetically diverse population for animals in order to increase their numbers and reintroduce certain zoo-bred animals into their natural habitats, if necessary.

The red panda cub joins two snow leopard cubs, a black-crested mangabey baby, a North American porcupette, six skunk kits, a serval kitten, two Ruwenzori long-haired fruit bats and a blue-poison dart frog born at Zoo Boise this year. In addition, through Labor Day, visitors to the zoo can also catch the seasonal Butterflies in Bloom and Dinomotion exhibits.

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