DECATUR — Scovill Zoo's two baby red pandas could come outdoors to meet their fans by International Red Panda Day on Sept. 15. 

Parents Lali and Pabu are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, said zookeeper Katelyn Huggins. The program helps with the population of certain animals. 

"We expected them to breed, and we're very happy they were able to produce babies this year," Huggins said.

The babies, both female, were born on June 25 and have yet to be named. Huggins said keepers are considering several names and might put it to a vote on their Facebook page to let the community help them decide.


The babies and mother Lali were indoors together at the moment until the babies are big and strong enough to move outdoors.

"They develop pretty slowly," said assistant director Dave Weber.

Both weighed 1.3 pounds each as of Tuesday, just right for their age, Huggins said. They're active and vocal.

"They've been descending the nets very well when we reach in to feed mom past them," she said. "They're snorting and very active. They're walking around and a little clumsy."

The cubs eventually will move to another facility because they're part of the Species Survival Plan, though parents Lali and Pabu will remain at Scovill.


Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter