Fota's new red panda cubs venture out of nest

Fota's new red panda cubs venture out of nest
Fota's new red panda cubsPicture Darragh Kane

THE baby boom is continuing at Fota Wildlife Park with the arrival of twin red panda cubs.

The cubs were born to mother, Bonnie, aged 6, and father, Pete, aged 8.

The male cubs, born earlier this summer, have only just started to venture out of their nesting box.

The red panda is an endangered species and there are less than 2,500 individuals left in the wild. The successful arrival of the twin cubs is an important link in Fota Wildlife Park’s participation in the international breeding programme.

The cubs join a succession of births this summer at Fota Wildlife Park, including four cheetah cubs, Dharma, a female Sumatran tiger cub, and, just last month, three Asian lion cubs.

The arrival of the three lion cubs was a first for the Wildlife Park.

Asian lions are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as there are only 500 individuals remaining in the wild.

The Asian lion population recovered from the brink of extinction a number of years ago.

Meanwhile, Fota Wildlife Park is calling on the public to name the panda cubs, by entering the suggestions on the blog page, www.fotawildlife.ie/blog.

The winning names will be chosen, out of the best suggestions, by the rangers next month and the winners will each receive a year-long conservation.

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