A red panda was born at Newquay Zoo on 15th June while the zoo was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The panda is a female and has been named Emma. Her parents are ‘Germaine’, dad, who is 9 and born at Krefeld Zoo, Germany and mum ‘Zou’ who was born at Asson Zoo, France and she is 10.
This is the first offspring for the pair. The youngster has just started to venture out of her nestbox for short periods of time in the afternoons. She is about half the size of the adults. She is currently a big ball of fluff and relies on mum’s milk for food. When red pandas are born, their fur is completely white which darkens as they grow.
The red panda’s diet consists of large quantities of bamboo and, at the zoo, this is also supplemented with some vegetables, and a dry feed pellet. They can be found in the centre of Newquay Zoo, with the adults usually high up in the trees sleeping in the sunshine during the middle of the day and then coming down to feed later in the afternoon.
The species is found in the eastern parts of the Himalayas and southwest China and is listed as Endangered in the wild. Their numbers are declining due to poaching for fur and pet trades, competition from domestic livestock and loss and fragmentation of habitat through deforestation.
Newquay Zoo is part of Wild Planet Trust. They are both registered charity striving to conserve species and habitats, and to inspire and empower people to help in the fight to protect wildlife. For more information visit www.newquayzoo.org.uk and www.wildplanettrust.org.uk.