Moonlight's cub was born on June 17. (Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)
Nutmeg's cubs were born on June 14. (Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)

Meet the Zoo’s Newborn Red Panda Cubs, Who Just Opened Their Eyes

The three cubs were born within days of each other at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Today, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo announced that its Conservation Biology Institute recently welcomed the births of three red panda cubs.

The cubs come from different litters and were born within days of each other. Two of the cubs were born on June 14, and the other came three days later. Nutmeg, the slightly older cubs’ mother, gave birth to her first litter in June 2015. Moonlight, the younger cub’s mother, is a first-time parent. Although Moonlight gave birth to two cubs, one of them died shortly after birth.

The three cubs opened their eyes on July 9 and appear to be healthy. At their most recent weigh-in, Nutmeg’s cubs weighed 367 grams and 234 grams, while Moonlight’s cub weighed 330 grams.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, red pandas are an endangered species with a population of less than 10,000. The Zoo reports that there may be less than 2,500 adult red pandas currently living in the wild.

About Meilan Solly
Meilan Solly

Meilan Solly is a graduate of the College of William and Mary/University of St Andrews Joint Degree Programme. In summer 2017, she served as Smithsonian Magazine's American Society of Magazine Editors intern. Previously, she interned at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and served as editor-in-chief of The Saint, St Andrews’ student newspaper.

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