No one likes stepping on the scale, but this baby red panda was still a real champ about it.
The two-month-old cub, who is currently unnamed, was born at Australia’s Perth Zoo to mom Anusha, 9, and dad Makula, 6, and recently had his first hands-on checkup with zookeepers.
As part of the appointment, the cub was weighed and had his teeth checked. Through this encounter, keepers also confirmed the red panda’s sex. It’s a boy!
The brave little man tolerated all of the handling and was given a clean bill of health.
“Today our veterinarians gave our furry new arrival a quick health check of its body condition, eyes, teeth, ears and weight,” Perth Zoo keeper Marty Bolan said in a statement.
Around the same time that the cub was at the doctor, six other red pandas were being rescued from an illegal trafficking operation.
“We were very excited to welcome a new cub to the Zoo family, however it coincides with the rescue of six red pandas from wildlife traffickers, emphasizing just how perilous it is out there for these animals,” Boland said.
Sadly, only three of the cubs survived. The stress, disease and danger of being carelessly shuffled across borders was too much for half the group. The surviving trio is now under the care of Free the Bears, one of Perth Zoo’s red panda conservation partners. The zoo is in constant contact with Free the Bears to make sure the rescued red pandas receive the right diet and are treated for stress.
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The Perth Zoo is dedicated to protecting the Nepalese red panda population through its own conservation work, having reared 19 of the animals at the zoo since 1997, and through partners who help red pandas out in the wild.
Due to deforestation, illegal trading and poaching, there are only 10,000 of these precious creatures left in the wild.
As for its own new arrival, Perth Zoo continues to look after the baby boy, who is still living in his nesting box with mom. Keepers expect the cub will be ready to meet the public in April.