FRONT ROYAL, Va. — Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is welcoming a red panda cub, born on June 12.
Moonlight, the four-year-old red panda, gave birth to the cub on June 12.
According to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Moonlight and the cub are doing well and "keepers are cautiously optimistic that the cub will continue to grow."
SCBI said Moonlight has been attentive to the cub, and will only leave the nest box for short periods of time. Keepers are monitoring the mom and cub with a closed-circuit camera.
As of June 19, the cub weighs 6 oz, which keepers said is normal for a newborn. The cub will stay in the nest box for the next two-to-three months, where it'll open its eyes and learn to walk. The cubs thick, woolly layer of fur will get even thicker, and will turn to a rusty red color.
The cub will stay with Moonlight until it is one year to 18 months old.
According to SCBI, red pandas are native to high-altitude bamboo forests in Asia. The main threat to the red panda is habitat loss, due to logging and human development.
Red pandas are classified as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. According to SCBI, the number of red pandas in the wild has declined by as much as 50 percent during the past 20 years.
SCBI participates in the Red Panda Species Survival Plan. The institute breeds and studies red pandas "to create an insurance population against extinction."
SCBI is home to five red pandas, including the newborn cub.