It’s a boy! And a girl!
The genders of the first-ever red panda cubs born at the Lincoln Park Zoo were revealed after their first physical examinations last week, the North Side zoo announced Monday.
The cubs were born June 26 to 5-year-old mother Leafa at the Kovler Lion House, where the red panda den is located.
“We’re very excited to announce our two red panda cubs are male and female,” general curator Dave Bernier said. “The cubs appear healthy and continue to grow. The next milestone will be opening their eyes for the first time, which we anticipate will happen this week.”
The cubs weigh about a half-pound each and are covered in pale yellow fur that will turn red in time, according to the zoo. The zoo is working with a donor to help choose their names.
The cubs and Leafa will remain in their off-exhibit den for several months as they continue to grow. Zoo keepers and veterinarians are monitoring the young family via a camera system in the den.
Phoenix, the cubs’ father, is still on exhibit daily at the Kovler Lion House.
Though they have panda in their name and look like raccoons, red pandas are actually not related to either species, according to the zoo. They hail from the Himalayan mountains and are considered “vulnerable” because of habitat loss and poaching.