One baby animal is cute enough, but twins? That is an abundance of adorable!
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, recently welcomed twin red panda cubs — and they greeted the public for the first time on Tuesday, July 31, reported Syracuse.com.
Loofah and Doofah, both males, were born at the zoo on June 21 to Tabei, their mother, and Ketu, their father.
The little ones were named after characters in the 2007 direct-to-video animated film The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends.
Why name red pandas after cartoon dinosaurs? The zoo currently has a special summer-long exhibit called Dinosaur Invasion, so the prehistoric creatures have been on zoo workers’ minds.
Zookeepers are closely monitoring Loofah and Doofah, who are being kept in an Isolette, which is a controlled environment for newborns, at the zoo’s Veterinary Clinic for the time being.
The cubs are being bottle-fed every four hours because their mother demonstrated difficulties nursing them on her own.
As they grow, the twins will move into different areas of the zoo.
The 1-month-old babies are Tabei’s third set of cubs born over the last three years.
In 2015, she gave birth to males Rohan and Pumori, who have since moved to the Central Park Zoo and the Erie Zoo where they have started their own families.
Her boy-girl twins born in 2016, Ravi and Amaya, now reside at the Detroit Zoo and Sacramento Zoo.
Red pandas are on the endangered species list, and it is estimated that there are less than 10,000 of them in the wild in the Himalayan Mountains, noted Syracuse.com.
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo participates in a program, the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is helping to increase the world’s population of several types of endangered species, including the red panda, by pairing up unrelated animals from a diverse gene pool in order for them to breed.
According to Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, red pandas, the only living member of the Ailuridae family, are native to Asia’s high forests. The adults typically weigh between 8.8 and 13.3 pounds, and they may live as long as 23 years.
“Bamboo constitutes 85 to 95 percent of the red panda’s diet, [and they] they feed selectively on the most nutritious leaf tips and, when available, tender shoots…. They may also forage for roots, succulent grasses, fruits, insects, and grubs, and are known to occasionally kill and eat birds and small mammals.”
“We can say that we are very proud of our zoo staff and we appreciate their dedication and hard work on behalf of all the animals in their care,” said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, according to Syracuse.com.
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo will celebrate International Red Panda Day on September 16. Loofah and Doofah will surely be part of the festivities!