Can you even handle the cuteness?!

Grand Rapids' John Ball Zoo has shared some of the first photos of three red panda cubs born last month to parents Wasabi and Wyatt.

The zoo says a doctor recently performed the first neonatal examination of the babies, and that allowed the zoo to get close up photos of their sweet little faces.

And the three tiny cubs all have a clean bill of health! The zoo checked to make sure  each little one is growing and developing normally and that they are all at healthy body weights. They listened to their hearts, checked their skin, coats, and inside their mouths.

What the zoo did not reveal yet is whether the cubs are male or female. They say to stay tuned for that announcement!

The three little ones were born at the zoo June 25, 2020.

Mom Wasabi, Courtesy of John Ball Zoo
Mom Wasabi, Courtesy of John Ball Zoo


They are mom Wasabi's first cubs; dad Wyatt fathered two other cubs previously.

John Ball Zoo said the birth is very exciting and significant for the zoo and the red panda species. Red pandas are endangered and it is believed there are less than 2,500 adult red pandas left in the wild.

Dad Wyatt, Courtesy of John Ball Zoo
Dad Wyatt, Courtesy of John Ball Zoo

Wasabi and Wyatt were matched at John Ball Zoo as part of the Red Panda Species Survival Program (SSP).

The SSP is one of the Association of Zoos & Aquarium’s many conservation programs. The SSP’s primary role is to serve as a breeding program for selected endangered or threatened species. The goal is to maintain a healthy and genetically diverse population for these animals in order to increase their numbers.


John Ball Zoo shared the above video of Wasabi and her cubs in the maternity den soon after they were born.

To stay updated on the we can stay updated on the red panda family, follow John Ball Zoo on Facebook and Instagram.

The zoo reopened to the public Monday, June 8. They've instituted new health and safety protocols and are operating at limited capacity. It's recommended that all guest reserve an online timed-entry ticket to secure their visit time. Tickets can also be secured over the phone.

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