Two adorable red panda cubs born at the Prospect Park Zoo this summer were introduced to smitten fans over the weekend, and they lapped up the attention like the stars they were born to be, according to a zoo big wig.
“They made their public debut!” said the animal park’s director Denise McClean, adding all eyes were focused on cuddly Bo and snuggly sis’ Mei Mei as they chilled in front of cooing crowds captivated by the magnificent mammals, whose ancestors hail from the Himalayas.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the Prospect Park Zoo as well animal sanctuaries in Manhattan and the Bronx, saves red pandas in China and Myanmar as part of its species survival program. It then breeds them to boost the species’ declining numbers due to deforestation hacking away at their natural habitats.
The results are a win-win, claimed a spokesman.
“As ambassadors for their cousins in the wild, the zoo’s red pandas help us tell an important conservation story,” said Max Pulsinelli. “They are adorable animals, and the new cubs are delighting visitors each day.”
Bo and Mei Mei, whose fluffy coats will coarsen in about 18 months when they become adults, are quite the nimble newborns — they have a wrist adaptation that acts much like a thumb, enabling them to grasp food and tree branches.