Panda babies of the red variety


Two red panda cubs were born to Shama and Tate at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in June. (Juan Rodriguez)
August 1, 2011

Well there’s good panda news and bad panda news from the National Zoo.

Let’s get the bad news over with first: There will be no baby giant panda this year. Zoo officials announced the Mei Xiang is not pregnant.

But there are not one, but two, baby red pandas. The two babies, born in June, got their first checkups with a veterinarian last week and are doing very well.

According to the zoo vets, the two female panda cubs are healthy, strong and have “good vocalizations,” which is one way of saying that they squawked about getting their vaccinations last week. The cubs, which don’t have names yet, weighed in at 13 ounces and one pound respectively. More than 100 red panda cubs have been born at the National Zoo’s facilities since 1962.

The cubs, along with their parents, 3-year-old Shama (mom) and 4-year-old Tate (dad) will be on view this fall on the zoo’s Asia Trail.

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