This time last year, Rusty was a different panda.
In late June of 2013, the red panda escaped from his home at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and fled to D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. Rusty had arrived at the zoo just a few weeks earlier, and his caretakers were planning to breed him with a red panda named Shama. The timing of his breakout led some jokesters to speculate whether Rusty’s fear of commitment drove him to escape.
Now, Rusty seems to have become a family man. The zoo announced Wednesday that Rusty and Shama welcomed three cubs on June 26 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. The cubs appear healthy, and zookeepers are keeping a watchful eye over them via video camera.
Rusty and Shama are the latest red-panda couple at the Virginia reproductive research center to give birth to cubs in 2014—the first for Rusty. Of the 10 cubs born this year to three other pairs, seven have survived. Two were born to Sherman and Yanhua, and two to Rocco and Regan, one of whom was stillborn. Angus and Low Mei also gave birth to two cubs, but one died shortly after.
Here’s an achingly adorable photo of Regan’s surviving cub, who is in critical condition and receiving round-the-clock care from zookeepers.
Your heart is breaking. (Janice Sveda/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)
Lest your boss catch you staring at these other cub photos on the National Zoo’s Flickr page, remember: Exposure to cute animals can boost focus, attention to detail, and careful behavior.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."