Thrice the Cuteness

The Virginia Zoo welcomed three red panda cubs to mom, three-year-old Masu and dad, four-year-old Timur. The cubs, two males and one female, were born off-exhibit at the Zoo’s Animal Wellness Campus on June 18. Red panda cubs weigh approximately five ounces at birth, but now weigh in at 500-600 grams, or just over a pound.

veterinarian holds very tiny red panda cub and checks heart using stethoscope

“Having red panda triplets is a unique situation,”said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian.“It’s a lot of work for mom to care for three newborns, but Masu is doing a great job caring for triplets and all three have been thriving.”

Masu gave birth in an indoor, climate-controlled den where she has been nursing and bonding with her cubs in a quiet environment. The den is off view to the public and is monitored by Zoo Keepers and Animal Care Staff. Masu and the cubs will make their way to the original Red panda exhibit off the main pathway later this fall when Keepers feel they can confidently navigate the trees and other exhibit features.

“Our Animal Care team had a great strategy last year in moving Masu to the Animal Wellness Campus while she was still pregnant, providing privacy for her first birth experience. She took great care of her cubs last year, which is why we opted to do the same thing again this time around,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “We’re excited to introduce Masu and the triplets to the public this fall!”

person with blue gloves holds screaming red panda cub in hands


UPDATE! All three panda cub names have been sold! Stay tuned for the announcement of their names coming soon! Money raised through the auction will be donated to the Zoo’s conservation partner, the Red Panda Network. Less than 10,000 red pandas exist in the world today. These iconic animals are endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation caused by human development and population growth.


For a limited time you can adopt the triplets through our Zoodoption program. By symbolically adopting the cubs, you care contribute to the care of the animals and to our conservation efforts. Click here to become a ZooParent today!