FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo hopes to help the red panda species by pairing the red pandas at the zoo with new mates. This move will increase genetic diversity for the species.
The male panda, Junjie, was moved to the Oglebay’s Good Children’s Zoo in West Virginia earlier in the year. He is now a companion for a female named Amber.
In his place at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is a red panda named Mars. He arrived about a week ago and has been getting acquainted with Xiao and her daughter, Maliha. The zoo hopes Mars and Xiao will produce babies in future years.
Maliha was born at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in June of 2014. In early April, she will move to the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan to be paired with a 3-year-old male from Minnesota named Rupert Junior.
The zoo estimates that there won’t be baby red pandas at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in the 2015. Breeding season for red pandas is in January through February. Zoo manager Shelly Scherer said in a statement, “we are not too optimistic that we will have cubs this summer. However, since their breeding season does run until the end of February, there still is a chance.”
The zoo will reopen for the 2015 season April 25. For more information on the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, click here.