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The Virginia Zoo welcomes red panda triplets

Mom Masu and dad Timur welcomed three little panda cubs into the world. The two males and female cub will be in the red panda exhibit later this fall.

NORFOLK, Va. — The Virginia Zoo welcomed three additional, adorable animals.

Mom, three-year-old Masu, and dad, four-year-old Timur, welcomed three red panda cubs on June 18.

The two male and one female cubs weighed about five ounces at birth, but now they're just over a pound.

“Having red panda triplets is a unique situation,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian. “It’s a lot of work for mom to care for three newborns, but Masu is doing a great job caring for the triplets, and all three have been thriving.” 

Red pandas are tree-dwelling animals that are native to the eastern Himalayan. In the wild, they are usually found in habitats in Myanmar, Nepal, India, Bhutan, Tibet, and China.

At the Virginia Zoo, Momma Masu gave birth in an indoor, climate-controlled den where she has been nursing and bonding with her cubs.

The den is out of view to the public, but it is monitored by by Zoo Keepers and Animal Care Staff. Masu and the cubs will make their way to the original Red panda exhibit off the main pathway later this fall when Keepers feel they can confidently navigate the trees and other exhibit features. 

Credit: Virginia Zoo

“Our Animal Care team had a great strategy last year in moving Masu to the Animal Wellness Campus while she was still pregnant, providing privacy for her first birth experience. She took great care of her cubs last year, which is why we opted to do the same thing again this time around,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “We’re excited to introduce Masu and the triplets to the public this fall!”

What will the cubs be named? The public could place bids on each of the cubs’ names, but the auction already closed. The Zoo said they sold out, and all of the proceeds will benefit the Red Panda network.

Click here to learn more about the Virginia Zoo.

Credit: Virginia Zoo