- This article is about the red panda, for the Sorrel tree, see Sourwood.
Sorrel (born June 12, 2010 in Battle Creek, Michigan; died December 3, 2020 in Birmingham) was a female red panda (Ailurus fulgens) exhibited at the Birmingham Zoo.
Red pandas, an ancient species (or "living fossil") native to the Eastern Himalayas, were once classified as either raccoons or bears, but are now considered a distinct family of mammals, which share a common ancestor with the giant panda. The 20-25" long reddish-colored mammals have short legs and long, bushy ringed tails. They feed mostly on bamboo, but also eat eggs, insects, birds and small mammals. Due primarily to habitat loss, they are considered a vulnerable species in the wild.
Sorrel was born at the Binder Park Zoo near Battle Creek, Michigan. She was transferred to Birmingham on April 28, 2010. She and her mate, Shifu, had a litter of two male cubs on May 30, 2013. The cubs were named Fred and George after the Weasley twins from the Harry Potter novels. On October 14, 2014, the twins were moved to Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, North Dakota as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan.
Sorrel was found to be pregnant in April 2019 by her then exhibit-mate Parker. A single cub was delivered stillborn in June. Parker died from unknown causes in March 2020. The zoo acquired another male, Gizmo on December 2, 2020. Sorrel died the following day.
- Glatston, Angela (November 11, 2017) International Red Panda Studbook Rotterdam: Rotterdam Zoo
- "Red panda" (June 19, 2013) Wikipedia - accessed June 24, 2013
- Sides, Melynda (June 21, 2013) "Red panda cubs born at Birmingham Zoo" MyFoxAL.com
- "Red Panda Update: Meet the Siblings." (May 31, 2019). Facebook post.
- "Birmingham Zoo Announces Red Panda Pregnancy." (April 19, 2019) Birmingham Zoo press release
- Delcambre, Shannon (June 15, 2019) "Birmingham Zoo's red panda delivers stillborn cub" wvtm13.com - accessed March 9, 2020