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    Rusty, The Escapee Red Panda At National Zoo Is Now A Father

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

    The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute recently announced that four pairs of red panda cubs have been born at the National Zoo in the past 5 weeks.

    The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute has announced that four litters of red panda cubs were recently born at their Front Royal facility in Virginia.

    One experienced mother, Shama gave birth to three of the cubs on June 26th. Those babies are the first litter sired by Rusty, who is well known for his 2013 escape from the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in Washington DC.

    A month earlier, on May 27th, the female red panda Yanhua and dad Sherman welcomed two cubs into the world. Another two cubs were born to female Regan and male Rocco on June 16th.

    Red pandas that live in the wild typically reside in the bamboo forests of China, Nepal and Myanmar. Due to habitat loss, it is believed there are less than 10,000 of them living on their own today.

    The recent baby boom at the zoo is part of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s ‘special species survival plan.’