New red panda signals hope for species at Newquay Zoo
Published: 31st Jul 2012A beautiful young red panda is the latest resident at Newquay Zoo. The male - who is currently un-named - is only one year old, and has been brought in to replace Julius, the previous…
A beautiful young red panda is the latest resident at Newquay Zoo.
The male - who is currently un-named - is only one year old, and has been brought in to replace Julius, the previous male who Newquay Zoo keepers have secured a new home for at Marwell Zoo.
John Meek, Animal Collection Manager said; ‘‘Red pandas, like their cousin the giant panda, are highly endangered in their native country, so it is important that good zoos around the world hold a captive population and breed them. It became clear that Julius and our female panda Sandy were not going to breed, however just because it doesn’t happen with one pairing does not mean that both pandas wouldn’t breed when part of another pair. It is hoped that Sandy and the new male will hit it off and form a new breeding programme at Newquay Zoo.’’
Red pandas are native to the eastern Himalayas and south western China, but they are rare in the wild and their numbers are continuing to decline. They are already extinct in four out of the seven Chinese provinces thanks to illegal poaching for fur and pet trades, as well as deforestation. They are also hunted by their natural predators including the majestic snow leopard.
The species are one of the most popular animals at Newquay Zoo – with staff and visitors alike. The exhibit was re-planted and re-designed in 2009, to make a more natural habitat for the animals whilst improving visibility for customers.