By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans
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Videographer / Director: ZooBorns
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Ruby Coote
Editor: Marcus Cooper
Born on June 24 2016 at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, the endangered cubs are the second set in two years for breeding pair Leafa - female - and Phoenix - male.
Female cub Waveland and male cub Sheffield spent the first few months of their lives behind the scenes in their nest box, but they have now ventured out to explore their ivy-covered habitat.
Lincoln Park Zoo’s Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout said: “In the last year, red pandas have gone from a threatened to endangered species due to human impacts including habitat loss.
“These playful, curious, arboreal cubs here at the zoo serve as ambassadors to encourage learning and inspire visitors to help protect this species in the wild.”
The acrobatic animals largely live in trees and use their striped bushy red tails to keep their bodies balanced.
Despite a shared love of bamboo and a mutually endangered status, red pandas are not related to the famous giant panda.
In fact, scientists have put the animals in their own category known as aluridae - any other mammals from the same group became extinct 4 to 5 million years ago.
The red panda is classified as endangered as a result of deforestation and poaching. However, conservation efforts by sanctuaries and zoos around the globe are helping to preserve this important species.