WEB EXTRA: Red Panda among new summer arrivals expected at the Memphis Zoo

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – There is a lot hatching at the Memphis Zoo.

As Mid-South temperatures soar into the upper 90s, residents of one of the city’s top attractions are finding relief from the heat in exhibit ponds and the shade of rocks and trees.

Meantime, zookeepers are monitoring flamingo eggs and nursing baby pythons just days old. You can call it a baby boom although Zoo Curator, Dan Dembiec say this happens the same time each year.

“There’s a lot of animals that are seasonal, and spring is a good time to breed and have babies before the summer,” said Dembeic.

One of the most anticipated this summer is the arrival of a rare red panda cub due any moment now.

“We can’t tell you the exact date they started breeding,” said Dembeic. “We’re not sure. We leave them together overnight.”

When the baby red panda is born, it will be second born at the Memphis Zoo since 2015 to the mother, Lucille.

“They’re just the cutest animals in the world,” said Dembeic.

The red panda is often classified in both the raccoon and bear family. You won’t see the panda cub immediately after birth. It will be kept safe until he can handle the exhibit space.

“There’s water in the exhibit that’s a hazard, there’s these trees it may climb and fall,” said Dembeic. “That’s a hazard.”

To make it easier for you to keep up with the new editions to the Memphis Zoo family, Zoo staffers created the Memphis Zoo Babies Twitter handle. 

“Our team really was trying to find a way to spread the news about all these great babies that are popping up here,” said Nick Harmeier.

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