Red panda Cinder has transferred safely to her new home at another AZA-accredited zoo. Female Cinder was born June 12, 2022, to parents Dr. Erin and Dash. Cinder is the third offspring for the pair, and Dr. Erin and Dash have another breeding recommendation from the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The SSP ensures genetic diversity for selected species living in human care.
Zookeepers at MCZ have been training Cinder through positive reinforcement from the time she began eating solid food, starting with target and scale training. In preparation for her move, keepers worked with Cinder on crate training for transport and hand injections for exams and vaccines.
Keepers comment that Cinder is a “pleasure to work with and is always eager to train.” They describe her temperament as “adventurous, curious, silly, and a ball of energy.” They say she’s fun to watch climb and explore her habitat, and they’ve “never seen a cub hang upside down as much as she does!”
At almost 1 year old, Cinder is old enough not to need her mother, and in the wild, fathers are rarely involved in the upbringing of cubs. Now that she’s older, Cinder and Dash aren’t very compatible, and Dr. Erin likes spending much of her time alone, as Cinder and Dash are sometimes “pesty.” In the wild, red pandas are normally a solitary species, the exception being a female with cubs.
MCZ zookeepers will be in contact with Cinder’s new keepers and check on her on a regular basis. Keepers add, “It is never easy saying goodbye.”
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), red pandas are listed as Endangered in the wild.
Want to help red pandas in the wild? Visit redpandanetwork.org.