New arrivals: Red panda cubs born
Two rare red panda cubs are the latest new arrivals at the zoo.
The cubs, who are not yet on show, were given the once over by our keepers as part of their first health check. Keepers were alerted to their arrival after hearing “little squeaks” from a nest box.
The twins, a boy and a girl, were born on June 27 to first-time mum Nima and dad Jung but keepers have only now been able to get a good look at them for the first time.
Keeper Maxine Bradley said:
Our two cubs are in very good shape. They’re big and strong with very thick fur - our male weighed in at just under 1kg and our female 842g.
We’re really pleased with how well they’re doing and, as soon as we had given them a health check, we popped them back into their nest. It’ll be several weeks until they start to emerge and explore.
Red pandas, whose scientific name Ailurus fulgens means ‘brilliant cat’, are native to the steep forested slopes of the Himalayas. They are a one-of-a-kind in the animal kingdom as they have no close living relatives.
Conservation experts have listed them as endangered in the wild, as they are threatened by poaching and shrinking habitat. .