Female red panda cub, Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo

TORONTO, ON, Wednesday, July 22, 2020: We are saddened to announce that one of the red panda cubs, born Tuesday, July 14th, has passed away. The first five weeks for red panda cubs is very critical to the cubs’ survival and the team will continue to closely monitor and supplement feed the other cub who remains with mom Ila and continues to appear healthy and strong.

One of the two female cubs was found weak on Sunday and had been transferred to the ICU in the Zoo’s Wildlife Health Centre where she received treatment and was fed every three hours by the veterinary team. After observing improvement in the cub’s condition over the following days, she was returned to mom Ila in the Red Panda House yesterday where Keepers continued to monitor the situation. Both cubs were receiving supplemental feedings every three hours, and Ila continued to care for them.

Shortly after being placed back with mom, the same cub appeared cold, dehydrated, and lethargic, at which point our team began additional treatment and she was placed back in an incubator. Sadly, this cub passed away overnight.

We suspect that Ila was not producing enough milk to feed both cubs, which is why we began the supplemental feedings. Our team will continue feeding the remaining cub while still keeping her with Ila to allow them to continue bonding.

Being the first red panda cubs born at the Zoo since 1996, it is with heavy hearts that our team mourns this significant loss and we appreciate our community’s support as we continue to care for and monitor the remaining cub.


Note to media:  Zoo staff are focused on the health and well-being of Ila and her cub and we will share updates as available. Media/photo opportunities are not available at this time.

Media Contact Information:

Katie Gray
Manager of Strategic Communications
(416) 938-5283
[email protected]

Amanda Chambers
Supervisor of Strategic Communications
[email protected]