Philadelphia Zoo Announces Red Panda Cubs

Two cubs born to new parents, Basil and Spark, will go on exhibit

Philadelphia, PA – (November 17, 2015) Philadelphia Zoo is pleased to announce two red panda cubs, born at the Zoo overnight on June 26, 2015. One male and one female cub were born to parents Basil and Spark, two of the Zoo’s 5-year-old red pandas.
“We are thrilled at the birth of these new cubs,” says Kevin Murphy, Philadelphia Zoo’s General Curator. “The birth is important in the Zoo’s efforts in red panda conservation. We work with the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose goal is to manage populations of threatened, endangered and other species across AZA zoos, to maintain long-term genetic and demographic viability. This birth marks an important step towards the plan.”
Red pandas are found in the Himalayans, but have been classified as vulnerable, due to habitat loss, fragmentation, poaching and climate change.
Mother and cubs are doing very well. Spark, an excellent mother, is tending to the cubs and they are very active. The cubs are nursing from Spark as well as eating on their own. Their diet consists of fresh bamboo, as well as small amounts of grapes, apples and biscuits formulated for red pandas. Keepers continue to observe the cubs and their mother, while providing as much privacy as possible.
The cubs will make their debut on Wednesday, November 18th at 10:30 a.m. Eventually these cubs will move to other institutions for breeding.
The Zoo is enlisting the help of Zoo visitors and social media followers to name the male and female red panda cubs. For more information and to submit male and female name suggestions visit or email the name suggestions to
A way to show your support to Philadelphia Zoo is by contributing to the ADOPT program. Those who adopt a red panda by December 31st will get a free mini red panda plushie. To ADOPT a red panda, visit

America's first zoo and one of the region's foremost conservation organizations, the Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats. The Philadelphia region’s leading family destination, the Zoo welcomed more than 1.3 million visitors last year. The Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information on the Philadelphia Zoo, as well as to purchase and print tickets online, visit us at Philadelphia Zoo is a non-smoking facility.