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If so, here’s how you can help: CHICAGO — A woman who was the first person in the world to have her own panda cubs born at the Chicago Zoo in just over a year will become the first woman to hold the position of zoo curator.
Diane Ochs, 64, will lead the zoo’s zoo animal development team in a new role beginning Jan. 1.
Ochs and her husband, Paul, have been on staff for 18 years and had their first cubs at the zoo in March 2015.
Her husband was in a coma and unable to leave his family.
The couple decided to keep the panda babies alive and raise them at home.
Ochts, who had previously worked as a zoo veterinarian, said the family had been looking for ways to get the pandas out of the cage for more than a decade.
The zoo staff were shocked when she received word that she would be making the move.
“It was just unbelievable,” Ochse said.
“I felt like it was the right thing to do.”
The family is now in a situation where they don’t know what to do next, she said.
Oschs is a retired zoologist who was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in California.
She is the first female curator at a zoo in the U.S. and the first African-American in the position.
“Diane’s got her life ahead of her and I’m excited for her to take it seriously,” Paul Ochss said.
“Her family and friends are very supportive of her decision and I can’t wait to work with her.”
The couple said the pangas’ survival will be a big boost for the zoo and will allow zoo staff to keep doing what they do best.
They are planning to introduce another baby panda, and are planning a birthday celebration with their first panda on Dec. 14.