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Red panda makes thunderous debut at Oklahoma City Zoo

KayDee, a four-month-old red panda, was born the night the Oklahoma City Thunder won the Western Conference Championship, and she was named in honor of Kevin Durant.
by Matt Patterson Published: October 1, 2012
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Despite her initial success, KayDee still faces obstacles in life. Red pandas have a high mortality rate.

“Complications can include the mother not producing enough milk because they are easily stressed,” she said. “Ringworm can be carried in the mouth of the mother and that can be fatal. They can develop pneumonia. We have to be very careful to pick up on any changes in her habits.”

The sixth-month mark will be a critical milestone for KayDee because of changes in diet.

“That's another time when we see a spike in mortality rate,” Newton said. “It's difficult for them to get off milk and start eating solids. Moms do it cold turkey, and they to figure it out fast.”

Still, zoo staff are optimistic based on past results. At two weeks, KayDee was as heavy as she should have been at five weeks.

“She's done everything with flying colors,” Newton said. “We feel pretty good about her getting through these stages of life.”

by Matt Patterson
Reporter
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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