Two rare Nepalese Red Pandas that were born during March of this year at Hamilton Zoo in Hamilton, New Zealand are now old enough to explore their enclosure like the curious cubs they are. Hamilton Zoo curator Samantha Kudeweh explained the health concerns the keepers had about the cubs soon after they were born:
"Initially the cubs weren’t gaining as much weight as they should have so we started supplement feeding. That worked really well and now the pair are fit and healthy and enjoying hanging out with their extended family."
Kudeweh said that while it's difficult to tell the sex of this species early in their lives, the zoo is relatively certain the two cubs are females. She added that if the zoo staff members are correct about the sex of the cubs, it will be a nice addition to their family, which includes three male cubs born last year.
Red Pandas, which look more like raccoons than giant pandas, are typically found in the Himalayas, ranging from Nepal to China. Their diet consists primarily of bamboo leaves, but also includes bird eggs, blossoms, leaves and berries. The species is threatened more and more by loss of habitat and humans hunting them for their pelts.
Read more about Red Pandas at the Hamilton Zoo website. Via Zooborns.