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Saying Goodbye: Red panda cubs leaving John Ball Zoo

The fuzzy fur babies will soon be making their way to Tennessee.
Credit: JBZ

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Red pandas Rose, Ruby and Willow were born in June 2020 and very quickly became favorites in the West Michigan community. And while John Ball Zoo has loved watching them grow, staff announced Thursday the triplets will soon be moving on to a new adventure.

The fuzzy fur babies will soon be making their way to Tennessee to continue their participation in the Red Panda Survival Plan (SSP), a program with the goal of maintaining healthy genetically diverse populations of red pandas in human care.

Red pandas are endangered, so the program is important for the future of the species.

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John Ball Zoo announced the news in a Facebook post, saying:

“Their birth was was not only special for us and our community but also for the species. It was especially so given the intense care that our team provided to Willow to ensure her survival. The effort was tremendous and it demonstrates the commitment and dedication of our team."

“Though we are incredibly sad to see them go, it has been a memorable highlight for many watching these three through their first year of life.”

Guests still have time to see Rose, Ruby and Willow at the zoo through Sunday, Aug. 22. Those who can’t make the trip can also view them on the Red Panda ZooLIVE Cam.

Their parents, Wyatt and Wasabi, are staying at John Ball Zoo. 

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