Litter of red pandas born at Columbus Zoo in Ohio

POWELL, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Zoo says three red pandas born recently are the first of the endangered species born at the zoo in central Ohio since 2002.

The female and two males were born June 20. The breeding season for red pandas can be difficult and the mortality rate for cubs is especially high in the first two months. Zookeepers are keeping a close watch on the cubs' weights.

The zoo says the litter is the fourth set of triplets born in an American zoo so far this year. Visitors can expect to see the cubs this fall after they emerge from the den.

The red panda population in the wild ranges from the Himalayas to South China. The population is primarily threatened by illegal hunting and the loss of forest habitats.

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