The Smithsonian's National Zoo has announced that he and his mate, Shama, are proud parents.
If Rusty sounds vaguely familiar, you may recall the sheer "panda-monium" he created last year when he made international headlines during his escape from his enclosure on Asia Trail at the zoo. He zipped around DC's Adams Morgan neighborhood before he was returned home.
Now he's making headlines of a different sort, for becoming a father for the first time. Shama, an experienced mother, gave birth to three cubs last Thursday. This is the first litter Rusty has sired. The happy family are enjoying some peace and quiet at the zoo's Front Royal campus, the Conservation Biology Institute, in Virginia.
Keepers had been monitoring Shama closely the past few weeks since her behavior indicated she might be pregnant. Keepers are observing the cubs via a closed-circuit camera, and the cubs appear healthy.
Rusty and Shama’s three cubs join three other litters born within the past five weeks. Two cubs were born May 27 to female Yanhua and male Sherman. It was their first litter.
Also read:Panda-Cam: National Zoo's Giant Panda Has New Itty-Bitty Baby Panda