International Red Panda Day was on Saturday, September 19. According to Buttonwood Pak Zoo, the “day is dedicated to the protection and survival of red pandas by raising awareness about the threats these beloved animals face in the wild and efforts to save their habitats.”

In celebration of this special day, BPZ introduced the newest member of the Red Panda family, Baby Kodo. Kodo was born on Thursday, June 4, and this past Saturday was her first time in the exhibit with mom, Marie, and dad, Jacob. Her birth was part of the American Zoological Association’s Species Survival Plan, which is a “nationally-coordinated effort to save threatened and endangered animals. There may be as few as 2,500 red pandas remaining in the wild; the BPZOO is proud to support Red Panda Network in saving them.”

Kodo is the first red panda born at BPZ in its 126-year history. What is so funny about this adorable cub is the story of how “he” actually turned out to be a “she.” Apparently, it’s really hard to determine the sex of a red panda, so it became part of the weekly checks for Kodo since birth. Originally thought to be male, Dr. Erica Lipanovich discovered that Kodo was a female at a recent screening.

“In one of our initial examinations of the cub, Kodo appeared to be female. It can be extremely difficult to determine the sex of a red panda, so it became part of each screening. During one examination, I felt what appeared to be testes, so I reached out to colleagues at another zoo for a second opinion. They agreed; Kodo appeared to be a male,” said Lipanovich. “After this week’s examination, it is safe to say that Kodo is NOT a boy, but in fact, is a girl - just as we initially suggested.”

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