Red pandas hand-reared in US to safeguard survival

  • 13/07/2015
Red pandas hand-reared in US to safeguard survival

Red pandas are cute and cuddly, but there are only 10,000 of them left in the wild.

A group of the furry creatures are now being hand-reared in the United States to safeguard their population.

Researchers say the survival of several red pandas born and bred in captivity is critical as deforestation threatens the population in the wild.

Animal keeper Jessica Cordell, along with another animal keeper, looks after five red panda new borns at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. The pair share hand-feeding duties from 6am to midnight every day, to keep the babies healthy.

Red pandas are one of the most fragile animals and birth, with only half of cubs surviving to adulthood.

They are part of a delicate eco system in the Himilaya's, stretching from Nepal to Burma.

Watch the video for the full CBS report.