Adelaide Zoo

Paws crossed for Adelaide Zoo’s Red Panda breeding program

There’s only one thing more likely to capture the attention of the animal loving public than a Red Panda – and that’s a Red Panda cub! Adelaide Zoo is therefore thrilled to share that plans are underway to breed its two Red Pandas, as part of a regional breeding program to save the species.

Female Red Panda, Mishry, is about to come into her breeding season and keepers are preparing to introduce her to male Red Panda, Ravi.

Red Panda Keeper, Jemma Cleere, said introducing Red Pandas is a delicate process.

“Female Red Pandas come into breeding season for just a few weeks at the start of winter, so it’s a small window of opportunity to breed the pair.

“In the wild, male and female Red Pandas live solitary and only come together for the breeding season.

“Our breeding plan will mimic this behaviour at the zoo, with Mishry and Ravi being introduced and sharing a habitat during the breeding season,” said Jemma.

If breeding is successful, the zoo could welcome the pitter patter of cubs in just a few months. The gestation period of a Red Panda is 135 days, with females birthing up to four cubs.

The Red Pandas at Adelaide Zoo are part of the regional breeding program working to save the endangered species. The pairing has been approved by a species coordinator to maximise the genetic diversity of the captive population.

“Adelaide Zoo has a history of successful Red Panda breeding with 45 cubs born at the zoo and we hope to continue that with Mishry and Ravi.

“We’re working hard to give Mishry and Ravi the best opportunity for success and hope to have a cub update soon!” finished Jemma.

Red Pandas are native to mountain forests in Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar and Nepal. The biggest threat to the declining population is habitat loss and fragmentation.

Zoos SA supports Red Pandas in the wild by partnering with the Red Panda Network, a world leader in efforts to save Red Pandas.

The Red Panda Network’s holistic approach focuses on protecting native habitat and promoting sustainable livelihoods for the people who live alongside them.

The Red Pandas at Adelaide Zoo will still have access to the public habitat during the breeding season. Each time the public visit Ravi and Mishry, they are supporting Zoos SA’s vital conservation work to ensure Red Pandas thrive for generations to come.