Two new residents are set to debut at the Prospect Park Zoo, and brace yourself, because they are very small — two tiny red pandas, red pandas who are just babies, and who are only now learning what it means to be outside. According to a press release, these twin boys were born in the summer and have been holed up in their indoor den, under the care of their mother, Willow. But now! Now they have reached adventuring age, and you can watch them scamper around in their outdoor habitat.
The zoo did not specify what Willow named her cubs, but to me, they look like Scooter (famously a mischief-maker) and Pete (calmer, curious, quiet chaos). What do you think?
Anyway, the panda babies will be considered adults when they hit 18 months, and their fur will continue to darken as they mature. Right now, they are particularly plush and especially soft, according to the zoo. They have large ears and squished faces totally out of proportion to their head size, which is adorable. They have large, clawed paws and fluffy ringed tails — they look (as all red pandas do) like house cats crossed with raccoons, to absolutely stunning effect.
The panda cubs at Prospect Park Zoo are Styan’s red pandas, a subspecies from the eastern portion of the Himalayan range in China and northern Myanmar that tends to be a little bigger than other varieties of red panda, and with a redder coat. It appears that these cubs enjoy smelling rocks:
And feeling the driftwood:
And lurking in high places:
And spending time with mom:
What else to say about the panda pups, whom you can now visit at the zoo? Here, just look at this video of the babies learning how to clamber, over tree branches and one another. It speaks for itself: