August 1, 2014 -
Knoxville Zoo's world-renowned red panda conservation program has marked another successful breeding season with the arrival of twin cubs, born on June 23rd at the Boyd Family Red Panda Village. The arrival of the two male cubs brings the number of red pandas born at Knoxville Zoo to 108, more than any other zoo in the world for this subspecies.
The five-week-old cubs are the offspring of mother Scarlett and father Madan, and were born on Madan's 16th birthday. For now, the cubs are snug in their nest box, and won't start venturing outdoors until they are about three months old. To give people the opportunity to see them in the interim, the zoo has teamed up with the Knoxville News Sentinel to allow an unobtrusive peek into their den via a PandaCam, which allows viewers to watch a live feed online at www.knoxnews.com/media/red-panda-cam.
Red pandas are endangered, primarily due to destruction of their native habitat, which extends from western Nepal to northern Myanmar. Knoxville Zoo's red panda breeding program is part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a multi-national collaboration that manages the breeding and social placement of all red pandas in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in the Western Hemisphere. Knoxville Zoo's Curator of Red Pandas Sarah Glass holds the title of Coordinator for the Red Panda SSP.
Knoxville Zoo is Knoxville's largest year-round attraction. Located off exit 392 from Interstate 40, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Knoxville Zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Currently, the zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit www.knoxville-zoo.org.