Greensboro Science Center Welcomes Red Panda Cub

MEDIA RELEASE
June 30, 2022

CONTACT INFORMATION
Bekah Robinson
336-288-3769 x1305
rrobinson@greensboroscience.org

GREENSBORO, NC –The Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is pleased to announce the birth of an endangered red panda cub. The cub was born overnight, June 19 – 20, to Usha (female) and Tai (male), a pair recommended for breeding by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program. This is the first successful red panda cub birth at the GSC.

Red panda cub, Ravi, aged 3 days old

The cub has been named Ravi (Sanskrit for Sun) and is being hand-reared behind the scenes by the GSC’s animal care team in order to provide the best chance for survival.

“The decision to hand-rear was made in conjunction with the SSP coordinators due to Usha’s history,” said Jessica Hoffman, the GSC’s VP of Animal Care and Welfare. “Pandas in both the wild and in human care unfortunately occasionally kill their cubs – something Usha has done in the past. This was a risk we did not want to take.”

Animal care staff report that parents Tai and Usha are doing well. The pair may be visible during the GSC’s operational hours, but zookeepers note that they will have access to their behind-the-scenes den boxes for several weeks.

The GSC’s CEO, Glenn Dobrogosz, says the new red panda habitat in Revolution Ridge was designed and built with an exclusive focus on endangered species breeding programs. The new panda habitat is approximately ten times the size of their former exhibit and includes two outdoor areas connected by overhead mesh tunnels, a muraled indoor habitat, indoor holding spaces and a side yard providing space for a large panda family group.

Dobrogosz said, “Revolution Ridge has only been open a year and we are already starting to see intended results. The birth of our new red panda sparks the beginning of what we hope will become breeding success with cassowaries, pygmy hippos, fishing cats, sand cats, servals, black-footed cats and more. Breeding success for rare and endangered species is a core mission goal of the GSC and AZA.”

PHOTOS: Newborn cub | Cub bottle feeding | Keeper Kelly feeding cub

Due to the delicate nature of this situation, the GSC cannot allow members of the media access to the Ravi for photos or videos. The GSC team will keep the public apprised of his progress via social media.

Ravi is not currently visible to GSC guests. As he grows, feedings and exams will take place in the Shearer Animal Hospital, where guests will be able to watch. Times and locations will be shared on the GSC’s social media channels as this information becomes available.

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