Potter Park Zoo Gives Birth to an Endangered Red Panda Cub

Maliha, the red panda at Potter Park Zoo, gave birth to a baby on July 21, 2022. Maliha has had two successful litters with the cub’s father, Deagan-Reid.

A camera put in the nest box where mom and the cub are sleeping is used by animal care personnel to watch mom and the cub on a daily basis. In the next weeks, veterinary personnel will continue to do frequent wellness checks to track his growth and development.

“Maliha is doing great, she’s an experienced mother and has been excellent with the newborn,” said Annie Marcum, carnivore area lead keeper. “The cub is actively nursing and growing at a healthy rate”.

This is great news for Potter Park Zoo, and it’s even better news for endangered species protection.

Deagan-Reid arrived from the Knoxville Zoo in 2021 and was coupled with Potter Park Zoo female Maliha via the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) red panda Species Survival Program, which pairs animals based on genetic diversity.

In two years, the couple has produced two successful litters. With just 205 red pandas in AZA facilities, Maliha’s new cub is an important boost to the population.

“We’re fortunate to have another successful red panda birth. Having two successful litters back-to-back is a testament to the hard work, planning, and teamwork at the zoo,” said Animal Care Supervisor Pat Fountain. “Introducing another red panda cub to the SSP is crucial for the species moving forward, we’re glad to be a part of the solution”.

Red panda babies are born deaf, blind, and tiny enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It takes more than two weeks for cubs to open their eyes, and another two months for them to venture outside of the nest.

While Maliha and her youngster will be out of the exhibit during this period, Potter Park Zoo’s social media will be updated with updates from the animal care staff. Deagan-Reid is on display and open to the public.