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Your morning adorable: Baby red panda born at the Taronga Zoo

March 4, 2009 | 12:02 pm

Pemba, a baby red panda at Sydney's Taronga Zoo

Pemba, a 4-month-old red panda, recently made his public debut at Sydney, Australia's Taronga Zoo.  Red pandas are endangered; Pemba is the 44th born at the Taronga Zoo since it began a breeding program for the species, a relative of both the giant panda and the raccoon.

"Pemba's favorite food is grapes, which he sometimes takes right from our fingertips, a testament to the level of trust and the strong bond we have developed with him and his protective mother," zookeeper Megan Lewis said of the baby, who's considered especially large for his age.  (During his mother Wanmei's pregnancy, keepers thought she was carrying two cubs.)  As an adult, he'll likely weigh about 12 to 20 pounds.

Red pandas are native to Nepal ("Pemba" means "Saturday" in Nepalese), Myanmar and China, where their habitat is shrinking as a result of deforestation.

More photos after the jump!

Pemba, a baby red panda at Sydney's Taronga Zoo

Pemba, a baby red panda at Sydney's Taronga Zoo

Pemba, a baby red panda at Sydney's Taronga Zoo

Pemba, a baby red panda at Sydney's Taronga Zoo

--Lindsay Barnett

1st, 2nd & 3rd photos: Mark Baker/Associated Press
4th & 5th photos: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

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