The Birmingham Zoo welcomes the community to raise awareness for red pandas by celebrating International Red Panda Day on September 21, 2013. Guests can participate in the Red Panda Games, where they will become a red panda ranger and learn how these unique animals survive in the wild. Visitors can view the newborn red panda cubs via video monitor in the Predator Building, get their faces painted, enjoy live keeper chats, watch an exciting red panda fruit enrichment activity, raffle for a chance to win red panda items and explore the Zoo to spot other animals that share the red panda’s habitat. Kids are encouraged to visit the Zoo’s website and download a coloring sheet of the red pandas to display at the exhibit. The Zoo’s daily activities, such as train and carousel rides*, feedings at the Kiwanis Giraffe Encounter* and the Red Diamond Sea Lion Splash Show will also be available throughout Red Panda Day.
On May 30, 2013, the Zoo proudly welcomed the United States’ first set of red panda cubs born in 2013. This was the first litter born to mom, Sorrel, 3-years-old and dad, Shifu, 4-years-old. The breeding that led to this birth followed the American Zoological Association’s Species Survival Plan®, SSP, a nationally-coordinated effort to save threatened and endangered animals. With fewer than 10,000 adult red pandas left in the world due to a loss of habitat, this birth marked a significant conservation milestone for the vulnerable species. Recent pictures of the two red panda cubs can be found on the Zoo’s website, and a video monitor of the cubs is located at the Red Panda exhibit in the Predator Building.