The Lincoln Park Zoo’s 7-month-old red panda cubs Clark and Addison are heading on an extended road trip — they’re being sent to other zoos.
The red panda cubs’ move was recommended by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, according to a statement from the North Side zoo. Since their birth on June 26, 2015, red pandas have gone from a vulnerable to an endangered species.
Now that they are grown, by red panda standards, they will move on to try and protect their species.
“Clark and Addison have fully weaned from the dam; eat solid foods such as bamboo; and are fully independent,” zoo General Curator Dave Bernier said in the statement.
“While we are sad to see them leave Chicago, these cubs have brought much-needed attention this species and its decreasing population,” Bernier said.
Clark and Addison were first-ever red panda cubs born at Lincoln Park Zoo. Their parents, Leafa and Phoenix, will remain at the zoo as empty nesters.
Though red pandas look like raccoons and have panda in their name, they’re not related to either animal.
Clark and Addison will alternate access to their exhibit in the Kovler Lion House with Leafa and Phoenix between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily until their departure in the coming weeks, according to the zoo.