The Nashville Zoo is welcoming a newborn red panda.
The female cub was born in early July. Red pandas are considered vulnerable to extinction due to habitat destruction.
Red pandas often have high infant mortality rates which make it difficult for the species to rebound from population declines.
“Because of the high infant mortality rate, we took every precaution possible to ensure the baby was delivered and cared for safely,’ explained Carnivore supervisor Karen Rice.
After her birth, zoo officials monitored the mother and baby via a video camera to watch for any signs of stress and to make sure the cub was nursing.
“After our female gave birth we made the decision to continue our hands-off approach since all was going so well,” Rice said.
The now two-month old cub is continuing to bond with her mother in an off-exhibit den.
The zoo hopes to debut the unnamed cub later this fall and will hold a naming contest.
When the baby is around one year old, she will likely leave the Nashville Zoo to be paired with a mate for breeding.
For more information on the Nashville Zoo, visit NashvilleZoo.org.