Sequoia Park Zoo's youngest red panda will move; concern surrounds the species numbers

The red panda born last Father's Day at the Sequoia Park Zoo is moving to Iowa next month.

Móhú will leave the other two red pandas at the zoo, her father Sumo and her mother Stella Luna, for the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, where she will be a companion for an older female red panda until she is ready for breeding.

"Hopefully, no one would be upset by this separation," Sequoia Park Zoo Manager Gretchen Ziegler said. "Móhú needs to be separated because her parents will soon become hostile toward her. In the wild, pandas leave their mother at about Móhú's age."

The zoo's animal care supervisor Amanda Auston said zoo employees are sad to see Móhú go.

"We've noticed Stella Luna and Móhú have been hanging out less, though they still get along," Auston said. "It's necessary to give Stella Luna time to prep for her new litter. In nature, the siblings born in different years would never be together. Stella is probably going to be retired from the breeding program soon, and this might be the last time she can have babies, so we want to make her environment as comfortable as possible."

Ziegler said red pandas are considered a species of concern due to declining numbers in the wild.

Jillian Singh is a reporter for the Times-Standard. She can be reached at 441-0509 or