CUTE ALERT: Birmingham Zoo welcomes 2 baby red pandas

Birmingham Zoo
Baby red panda born on May 31st to Kodo and Gizmo (Birmingham Zoo Facebook page)

Break out the cigars! The Birmingham Zoo has announced the birth of two red pandas.

The two cubs were born on May 31st to first time parents Gizmo and Kodo. The adult pandas were recommended to breed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP)

As an AZA-accredited member, the Birmingham Zoo joins other AZA facilities in participating in SSP Programs to support cooperative breeding and species management.

Only 2500 in the wild

“Birmingham Zoo is passionate about educating our guests on the importance of conserving red pandas and other endangered species found around the world,”  Chris Pfefferkorn, Birmingham Zoo President and CEO said in a statement.

red panda
(The Birmingham Zoo / Facebook)

“We are proud to continue our strong commitment to the AZA SSP, for the sustainability of red pandas. We are also proud of the work we do for red panda conservation, including our partnership with the Red Panda Network, which works to protect the remaining 2,500 red pandas currently in the wild.”

When can we see them?

According to the Zoo, for the first few months, the cubs will not be visible to guests and Kodo will likely remain behind the scenes in her nest boxes where it is quieter and private. The Birmingham Zoo follows AZA standards for health and wellbeing, and animals are often given choice on where they want to spend time. 

Gizmo has been moved to a behind-the-scenes area in the Zoo and will remain separate during this adjustment period, giving Kodo time and space to care for the cubs.

Team effort

Birmingham Zoo
Baby red panda born on May 31st to Kodo and Gizmo (Birmingham Zoo Facebook page)

“This success with our red pandas is the culmination of coordinated efforts from our entire zoo team over the past few years, starting with Gizmo’s arrival in 2020.” explained Birmingham Zoo’s  Scott Kayser, Zoological Manager of Predators. “While Kodo is a first-time mother, she has been a natural since day one and both cubs are doing well. We are all beyond excited for our new additions and look forward to sharing them with everyone!”

Updates to come

Even though the public can’t see the adorable cubs right now, keep in contact with the Birmingham Zoo via social media for updates.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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