Baby panda fed by cat in Artis zoo
A baby panda rejected by its mother has been adopted by a domestic cat which is suckling the animal along with its own young, Amsterdam’s Artis zoo said yesterday. “The young panda is doing well under the circumstances. For it to survive, it needs to get enough food and grow. We will see if this is the case over the next few weeks,” the zoo said in a statement.
The animal, an endangered red panda, would need to be suckled by the cat for at least a few weeks, it said, adding that it was not unique for a wild animal to be adopted by a domestic one. The panda and another sibling were initially accepted by their mother but a day later were found to have been abandoned. They were also suffering from hypothermia.
“A cat belonging to one of the zookeepers had just given birth and so we decided to try to get it to suckle the pandas,” the statement said. The second panda, was too weak when it was placed with the ca and did not survive. Red pandas, which are only slightly larger than domestic cats, are an endangered species found mostly in the eastern Himalayas. Many zoos around the world have breeding programmes.