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Denver Zoo Releases Footage of New Red Panda Cubs

By Holly Kellum

After over a month under wraps, the Denver Zoo released footage of its new red panda cubs on Friday, Sept. 29.

The brothers, who were born to mother Faith and father Hamlet on Aug. 27, are doing well, their keepers said.

“The cubs and mother are thriving,” the zoo said in a press release. ”The brothers are pretty feisty when they wrestle each other.”

They haven’t been named yet, a ritual the zoo reserves for when they’re older and know they will survive.

The babies are just over one pound right now, the zoo said, but they’re growing fast.

Red pandas share few traits with their namesake the panda—they are similar in looks and size to raccoons, which they are also related to. However they are in a family of their own called the Ailuridae.

Red pandas are native to Asia, most commonly from Nepal, India, Bhutan, Burma, and China. Like giant pandas, they have very specialized diets and eat large amounts of bamboo daily.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies red pandas as an endangered species. According to IUCN, the biggest threat to their existence is habitat loss and fragmentation, habitat degradation, and hunting or trapping.

A Red Panda near Turin, Italy, on June 3, 2015. (Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images)
A Red Panda near Turin, Italy, on June 3, 2015. (Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images)
A Red Panda near Turin,Italy, on June 3, 2015. (Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images)
A Red Panda near Turin,Italy, on June 3, 2015. (Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images)

This is both parents’ second litter. Last June they welcomed Lali and Masu, both females, to the family.

The sisters didn’t fair as well as their newborn brothers however–both got pneumonia and needed daily fluids and antibiotics for the first few weeks.

The adorable new cubs won’t be on view for a few more weeks, the zoo said. They are waiting till they are more developed and can join their father in the red panda enclosure.

Until then, they will hang out with their mommy in a nest box behind the scenes.

 
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