Zoo’s newest member is ready to meet you

Baby red panda “Maliha.”

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Since the beginning of June many people have been excited to meet the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo’s red panda. Now, at 12-weeks-old, the cub is out in her exhibit.

The baby red panda, Maliha, was being kept in an air-conditioned nest box with her mother, Xiao. The nest box is still in the exhibit, but zookeeper Helena Lacy said she’s made several appearances this week.

“She comes out into the exhibit with mom, and she just kinda starts exploring all of her surroundings, kind of playing in some of the bushes and the plants in the exhibit and crawling up on the perches with mom, so it’s a really fun sight to see”, Lacy said. “We’re really excited that she’s made this milestone, but it does wear her out, so she does tend to sleep a lot afterwards.”

Maliah is the zoo’s first red panda cub born in the last three years to survive longer than two weeks. According to experts, it’s rare for this breed of panda cubs to live longer than 30 days in captivity.

The zoo is open 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. daily until October 12, 2014. Admission is $14 for adults, $10.50 for seniors age 60 and up, and $9 for children ages 2-18. Babies under 1-year-old and Zoo Society Members are admitted free.

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