Milwaukee County Zoo’s newest red panda cub makes her debut Friday, Sept. 20
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Zoo’s newest red panda cub, Kiki, will make her official debut on Friday, Sept. 20. This comes just a day before International Red Panda Day — Saturday.
A news release from the zoo says Kiki was born June 7 to mother, Dr. Erin Curry, and father, Dash. The pair’s second cub, she is part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan® (SSP), which helps to maintain genetic diversity within red panda populations in AZA-accredited zoos. Dr. Erin has again proven to be a very vigilant mother and Kiki is developing as expected.
Dr. E. and Dash had their first cub (the firstborn at MCZ), Dr. Lily Parkinson, in June 2018. Zookeepers learned a lot from Dr. E.’s first pregnancy, including that she’s a very good mother. Mom and cub have remained off exhibit until now, in a quiet area, complete with a nest box, where keepers could monitor the pair closely.
The release says Kiki now relies on mom for milk, nursing for the first 13-22 weeks of life. At 4-6 months, Kiki will begin to wean from mom, and keepers will start to introduce solid food to her, softened in water. She’ll be with Dr. E. for the first year of life, following her around the habitat and learning how to climb.