It's a boy! Endangered red panda born at Toronto Zoo

·1 min read
The Toronto Zoo announced the birth of a red panda cub, which doesn't have a name at this point, on Thursday.  (Toronto Zoo - image credit)
The Toronto Zoo announced the birth of a red panda cub, which doesn't have a name at this point, on Thursday. (Toronto Zoo - image credit)

It's pandamonium again at the Toronto Zoo after, for just the third time in 25 years, an endangered panda cub was born at the facility.

Paprika, a 4-year-old red panda, gave birth to her first cub at the Toronto Zoo on July 13, the zoo announced Thursday.

The (for now) unnamed male cub and his mom can't be viewed by the public just yet, but the little one is healthy the zoo said.

Wildlife care staff were able to examine the zoo's new edition Tuesday and noted he weighs 221 grams — less than a can of pop. Paprika took the welcomed break to stretch out and groom herself before returning to mom duty, the zoo said.

The female red panda arrived at the zoo in November and was introduced to her mate, Suva, shortly after. The breeding recommendation came from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a US-based non-profit that works in areas such as conservation and education.

"Red pandas are an endangered species due to illegal hunting and habitat loss, so contributing to sustaining their managed populations in AZA accredited zoos is not only a success for your zoo, but also helps to educate our guests about the conservation efforts of this extraordinary species," says Toronto Zoo CEO Dolf DeJong.

According to the World Wildlife Fund website, the red panda has an estimated population of less than 10,000 total, nearly half of which are found in the Eastern Himalayas.

The tree-dwelling herbivores, the non-profit said, grow to be a bit bigger than a domestic cat.

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