Central New York, Community, Education, Environment, Syracuse

Rosamond Gifford Zoo Welcomes Loofa and Doofah into Zoo Family

Rosamand Gifford Zoo welcomes residents of Syracuse to twin red pandas. © 2018 Casey Buscher


Click the play button above to hear how the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is taking part in helping this endangered species.

Audio Transcript: Twin Red Pandas

By Casey Buscher SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) –The Rosamond Gifford Zoo announced the birth of two baby red panda twins today. Loofah and Doofah are currently under the care of zookeepers, with regular bottle-feeds every four hours, ensuring successful post-birth development.

Significantly, this marks a landmark event for the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, according to Janet Gramza, Communications Manager at Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

“There is only 230 accredited zoos in the country that are certified through the Species Survival Plan (SSP) to assist in the regulation and growth of the Red Panda population in North America,” Gramza said.

With dwindling numbers, there are currently less than 10,000 red pandas in existence in the Himalayan Mountains and only a few hundred left in North America.

“It is a privilege and honor to participate in the Species Survival Plan knowing we are making an impact on the survival of this species,” she added.

Loofah and Doofah in the zoo’s veterinary clinic. © 2018 Casey Buscher


With the birth of Loofah and Doofah, this is currently the third set of cub twins mother Tabei has given birth to. Unfortunately, this round did not go as smoothly. “Tabei showed trouble taking care of the cubs after birth. This forced us to take the cubs into the care of the zookeepers to make sure they survived,” said Zoo Director Ted Fox.

With the current state of the Red Panda existence, most notably in North America, the possibility for complete extinction remains present. Luckily, with the amount of Red Pandas being bred by the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and others around the country, there will be enough to continue to support the population. Efforts such as these could prove to be significant moving forward to keep endangered animal species alive.

The city of Syracuse is very excited about the newest breed in the zoo and has embraced the species with open arms. “The city is going crazy. People just love red pandas and they’re so happy for us and our success at breeding this endangered species. We’re getting a lot of positive feedback,” Gramza said.

Sept. 16 is International Red Panda Day and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is already anticipating the celebration of the special event with the newest cubs in town.