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It’s a boy! Meet Banham Zoo’s new bundle of joy

PUBLISHED: 12:42 16 October 2018

Red pandas are listed as an endangered species. Picture: Banham Zoo

Red pandas are listed as an endangered species. Picture: Banham Zoo

Archant

Catch a rare glimpse of Banham Zoo’s new red panda cub.

As he totters around his enclosure, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Banham Zoo’s latest addition.

The new male red panda cub, who is yet to be named, was born in late July to the zoo’s resident red pandas, Jasper and Maggie.

Parenthood is nothing new for the pair, who produced a female cub back in 2016, and zoo keepers say that Maggie is doing an excellent job of caring for her baby.

Red panda cubs spend the first two to three months inside their nesting box, meaning that the new addition has proved quite elusive until now. But recently, the cub has started to explore its surroundings and has occasionally been spotted exploring with mum, Maggie – much to the delight of keepers and visitors alike.

Native to south-east Asia, red pandas are listed as endangered and numbers in the wild are believed to have decreased by 50pc in less than 20 years due to loss of habitat and an increase in poaching.

Banham Zoo’s latest arrival is a valuable addition to the international effort to protect this threatened species.

Animal manager, Mike Woolham said: “We are delighted with our latest addition. The conservation of the animals in our care is of paramount importance to us and we hope that our latest arrival may throw the spotlight on the plight of this species and others under severe threat in south-east Asia”.

The cub will remain with his parents at the zoo for at least a year. Once he reaches maturity, the European and International Studbook Coordinator for the species will recommend transferring him to another zoo, where he will most likely join a female to make up a new pair. They will hopefully then produce young of their own and continue to help the survival of their species.

Banham Zoo is open daily from 9.30am, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Video provided by Banham Zoo.

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