John Ball Zoo’s red panda cubs have names

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The red panda cubs at John Ball Zoo have been named.

They are Rose, Ruby and Willow, the Grand Rapids zoo announced Friday.

The zoo hosted a contest to name the pandas, which were born June 25. People could donate as little as $1 to vote for a name. There were 471 voters from 20 states, Canada and the United Kingdom.

In all, the contest raised $13,124 for red panda conservation, the zoo said.

“Thank you … for making a difference. Thank you for helping us save animals from extinction,” zoo CEO Peter D’Arienzo said in a video announcing the names.

The three cubs were born to the zoo’s breeding pair of red pandas, mother Wasabi and father Wyatt. Wyatt previously fathered cubs at another zoo, but the litter was Wasabi’s first.

The family is part of a program to save the endangered red panda. It’s estimated there are fewer than 2,500 adults still in their natural habitat in the Himalayan Mountains, with the population decline blamed on the destruction of bamboo forests.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

News 8 Links