Red panda twins born at Auckland Zoo

One of the Nepalese red panda twins at Auckland Zoo. Photo / Auckland Zoo
One of the Nepalese red panda twins at Auckland Zoo. Photo / Auckland Zoo

Animal-lovers hoping to catch a glimpse of Auckland Zoo's brand new baby pandas should plan for a viewing date in March.

The Nepalese red panda twin cubs, born on January 3, now weigh around 400 grams each - a healthy size for their age.

The pair, who are yet to be named, are the second and third offspring of 4-year-old mum Bo and 13-year-old dad Sagar.

The Nepalese red panda twins at Auckland Zoo. Photo / Auckland Zoo
The Nepalese red panda twins at Auckland Zoo. Photo / Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo's acting carnivore team leader Lauren Booth said the births were fantastic news, particularly as numbers of Nepalese red pandas continued to dwindle in the wild.

"They have now opened their eyes and are moving about in the nest box a little more, and will sometimes 'huff' at us," she said.

"Their weights have shot up to 403 grams and 423 grams respectively - above average, so we know they're getting plenty to eat, but they still have more growing to do," Ms Booth said.

Like their older brother Pabu - born just over a year ago - the twins will eventually relocate to a zoo in Australia to contribute to the international breeding programme, she said.

While visitors to Auckland Zoo are able to see the twins' brother and their parents, the new additions to the family are not expected to venture out of their nest box until sometime in March, when they will be at least 12-weeks-old.

The sex of the cubs will also be confirmed that month, at their first vet check.

The red panda twins have been named by nzherald.co.nz readers. Click here to see the announcement.

- APNZ

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