Marvin the Red Panda Cub Coming to Zoo Knoxville

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Marvin the Red Panda Cub Coming to Zoo Knoxville

Posted: 08/23/2019
At eight-weeks-old, Marvin the red panda cub is about take his first trans-continental flight from Idaho to Knoxville.  

Marvin was born at the Idaho Falls Zoo in June to mother Delilah and father Winston, both of whom were raised at Zoo Knoxville.  The decision was made to bring him to Knoxville to be raised by the zoo’s internationally-acclaimed red panda staff after his mother was unable to care for him.  

Marvin the Red Panda

Marvin will be travelling on a direct flight from Idaho Falls to minimize his travel time, arriving the afternoon of Friday, August 23, 2019.  He will be accompanied by Phil Colclough, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Education, and a keeper from Idaho Falls Zoo to ensure a smooth transition of care.  Marvin’s flight was generously sponsored by Clayton Homes.

“Zoo Knoxville’s animal education and conservation efforts are critical to many species, including the red pandas,” said Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton Homes and long-standing zoo enthusiast. “It was an honor to help give this very special red panda cub a ride back to Knoxville.  I hear the excitement around the cub’s arrival created real panda-monium.”

Marvin will be hand-raised with three other red panda cubs, a female who was born at Zoo Knoxville and male and female twin siblings who were suddenly orphaned at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo this week.  The decision to bring the cubs to be raised in Knoxville was made by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, which is a collaborative effort among zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to maintain a healthy population of red pandas in human care.  Zoo Knoxville is the top zoo in the world for the breeding of red pandas, with 110 cubs born at the zoo.  Curator Sarah Glass and her team are internationally recognized as experts in the care and husbandry of red pandas.  They are highly experienced in raising cubs that are behaviorally and physically healthy members of the red panda population.  

Native to the forests of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Myanmar, red pandas are an endangered species.  It is estimated that as few as 2,500 are left in the wild, with a 50% decline in their population in the last 20 years.  Habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal trade, unsustainable management of forest resources, and climate change are all contributing to their peril.   

Learn more about Zoo Knoxville at zooknoxville.org.